Hospital completed on time and on budget

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON, Feb. 15 /CNW/ - The Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, joined David Orazietti, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie, Mike Brown, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin, hospital officials, staff and community members today to celebrate the official dedication of the new Sault Area Hospital (SAH).

The completed hospital provides the community with a state-of-the-art facility housing enhanced programs and services under one roof. The new hospital accommodates 291 beds, an expanded emergency department and for the first time offers radiation therapy services to the community and people of the Algoma region. SAH is now better equipped than ever to respond effectively and efficiently to the increasing system-wide health care needs of Ontarians.

As one of the first Alternative Financing and Procurement hospital projects to get underway in the province, construction on the new SAH began in August 2007. This project provided stimulus to the regional and Ontario economies by directly and indirectly creating and supporting jobs. On average, approximately 250 construction workers were on site daily and more than 80 per cent of tradespeople involved in the project were from Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding area. Substantial Completion of the new hospital
was reached in the fall of 2010- on time and on budget. Since then, hospital staff and vendors have been involved in performance testing of equipment and building systems, installation of remaining new equipment and furniture, and training and orientation of approximately 2500 staff, physicians and volunteers.

The new hospital replaces the existing facilities at the Plummer Memorial Hospital and the Sault Ste. Marie General Hospital sites and will be open to patients on March 6, 2011.

Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care worked with the Sault Area Hospital to manage the construction of the new hospital, which will remain publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable. Infrastructure Ontario is a Crown corporation dedicated to delivering some of the province's larger and more complex infrastructure renewal projects - ensuring they are built on time and on budget; as well, it is dedicated to providing the public sector and not-for-profit organizations with long-term
financing to renew their infrastructure.

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Honourable Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care
"This new hospital means that the residents of the Sault and Algoma region will have greater peace of mind knowing that they have increased access to high quality health care so close to home. I'm proud to celebrate an incredible milestone that will benefit the health and wellbeing of the people of this region."

David Orazietti, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie
"Today we are celebrating the opening of the new state-of-the-art Sault Area Hospital, which is the most important public infrastructure project in our city, because of a commitment our government fulfilled to the people of the Sault and area. While past governments did not have a viable plan to move this project forward and do not share our view of the importance of patient centered health care, we ensured our public hospital was built on time and on budget."

Mike Brown, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin
"I am indeed proud to be here to celebrate this new hospital and what it means for the Algoma Region as a whole. The availability of cancer radiation therapy services significantly enhances our ability to provide important services closer to home."

Elaine Pitcher, Chair, SAH Board of Directors
"Needless to say, this is a momentous occasion for the people of Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding communities. On behalf of our Board of Directors, I would like to recognize everyone who had a hand in building and readying this magnificent facility and to all those who came before us with the vision and drive to begin the journey."

Ron Gagnon, SAH President and Chief Executive Officer
"Words alone cannot adequately express what this new facility and equipment will mean to our staff, physicians and volunteers, who have been performing their everyday miracles despite the constraints of our current facilities. Their talents can now be complemented by these state-of-the-art tools, all to the great benefit of the patients we serve."

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The construction of the new Sault Area Hospital consolidates the services of two existing sites into a new four-level complex situated close to long-term care facilities.

The new hospital is 20 per cent larger than the two hospitals combined and provides all existing health care services along with the addition of a radiation therapy treatment satellite facility for residents of Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding area.

The introduction of radiation treatment facilities will ensure that the approximately 120,000 residents of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma region served by SAH have closer-to-home access to this advanced-level care.

The new SAH features:

  • A clinical service area that is one-third larger than the current combined sites
  • An emergency department that is between double and triple its current size
  • Improved infection prevention and control systems including isolation rooms, dedicated clean and soiled elevators and a centralized sterilization processing department
  • A ratio of 50 per cent private rooms in the medical/surgical units, providing additional comfort and privacy to patients and their families
  • Wireless infrastructure throughout

Construction began in August 2007 and was completed on time and on budget.

Construction statistics:

  • 500 to 600 tradespeople were on site at the peak of construction activity.
  • More than 60 subcontractors were involved in the project.
  • 80 per cent or more of skilled tradespeople were from Sault Ste. Marie and the immediate area.
  • Approximately $105 million in salaries was paid to tradespeople over the life of the project.
  • Value of goods and services purchased locally is between $15 and $23 million.
  • Approximately 2 million person-hours were spent constructing the facility.

SOURCE Infrastructure Ontario

For further information:

Mario Paluzzi Mandy Downes
Sault Area Hospital Infrastructure Ontario
705-759-3837 416-327-5246

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