McGuinty Government Improves Access To Neonatal And Labour Delivery Care For Mothers-To-Be



    Construction Begins At Mount Sinai Hospital

    TORONTO, Sept. 6 /CNW/ - More women and infants will get better access to
obstetrical and neonatal care with the expansion of Mount Sinai Hospital,
Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman announced today.
    "Labour and delivery is a very stressful time for both mother and
infant," said Smitherman. "This new neonatal and obstetrical care unit will
help provide more families with better access to these necessary services,
closer to home."
    Minister Smitherman joined hospital staff, community members and local
officials to mark the official start of construction for the Women's and
Infants' expansion project at Mount Sinai Hospital.
    The entire Women's and Infants' project will be cost-shared at 90% of
eligible construction costs by the government when the second phase gets
underway. It will include new labour and delivery rooms, a new neonatal
intensive care unit and level II nurseries, as well as modern antenatal and
post-natal units, and expanded ambulatory care space.
    The first phase of the project involves structural upgrades to the
hospital, and building a six-storey addition on top of the hospital's Murray
Street west wing on University Avenue. The second phase, which will begin in
Spring 2009, will include the outfitting of the six-storey shell and
associated renovations.
    "We welcome the government's commitment and support to the health of
mothers and newborns through this exciting project," said Joseph Mapa,
President and CEO of Mount Sinai Hospital. "This expansion will help provide
better neonatal and labour delivery services for mothers-to-be in a
state-of-the art facility. It will also provide the bright minds and big
hearts at our hospital with the best environment possible within which to
work, learn and offer outstanding care."
    Mount Sinai's capital project is one of several hospital projects
approved under ReNew Ontario, the government's five-year, $30-billion plan to
modernize and replace many of the province's hospitals, schools and
post-secondary institutions. ReNew Ontario includes $5 billion for health care
infrastructure.
    "This project will increase space by 40 per cent, increase capacity to
deliver more healthy babies, and provide state-of-the-art facilities that
encompass new standards in design, efficiency and infection control," said
Lawrence Bloomberg, Chair of the Mount Sinai Hospital Board of Directors.
    "This is great news for our community," said Bloomberg "The renewed
Women's and Infants' Health program will help our health care professionals
with an enhanced patient and family-centred care environment that is safer for
patients, provides more privacy and greater access to services."

    This is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians have
achieved results in children's health care services. Other initiatives
include:

    
    -  Investing $5.5 million to further help improve access to care for
       children by providing more than 2000 additional paediatric surgeries
       across Ontario in 2007/08
    -  Making three new vaccines available free of charge for the prevention
       of chicken pox, meningococcal meningitis and pneumococcal disease,
       resulting in over three million vaccinations that have saved Ontario
       families up to $600 per child.
    -  Expanding the newborn screening program from two disorders to 28.
    

    Today's initiative is part of the McGuinty government's plan for
innovation in public health care, building a system that delivers on three
priorities - keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing
better access to doctors and nurses.

    This news release, along with other media materials, such as matte
stories and audio clips, on other subjects, are available on our website at:
http://www.health.gov.on.ca under the News Media section.
    For more information on achievements in health care, visit:
www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca.

    Disponible en français.




For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: David Spencer, Minister's
Office, (416) 327-4320; David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,
(416) 314-6197; Members of the general public: 1-866-532-3161

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