Contract awarded for the Sault Area Hospital project

    Expanded health care services will be closer to home for Sault and Algoma

    TORONTO, Aug. 15 /CNW/ - Construction of the new Sault Area Hospital is
on track to begin in August 2007. Today, the Sault Area Hospital signed a
contract with the consortium Hospital Infrastructure Partners (HIP) to build,
finance and maintain the new facility.
    Hospital Infrastructure Partners Inc. includes Carillion, EllisDon, LPF
Infrastructure Fund (the Labourers' Pension Fund of Central and Eastern
Canada) and CIT Financial.
    "A tremendous milestone was reached today - a milestone which paves the
way for improved access to health care in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma region,"
said David Caplan, Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal. "The final
contract is signed demonstrating that the McGuinty Government has delivered on
its commitment to the community."
    "Modernizing Ontario's hospital infrastructure is an integral part of
improving our health care system," said George Smitherman, Minister of Health
and Long-Term Care. "Our investment in the new radiation treatment satellite
will ensure that the more than 100,000 residents of Sault Ste. Marie and
Algoma region have closer-to-home access to advanced cancer care."
    "Our government is delivering on the largest public infrastructure
project for the Sault and Area in generations," said David Orazietti, MPP for
Sault Ste. Marie. "Today's announcement signals the start of construction on
our new state-of-the-art hospital that will enhance patient care, improve our
ability to attract and retain medical professionals and provide a significant
boost to the local economy."
    HIP has signed a contract with the hospital to build, finance and
maintain the facility. At the end of the 30-year maintenance period, HIP will
have been paid approximately $898 million for the construction of the
facility, building maintenance, lifecycle repair and renewal and project
financing. In today's dollars this is equivalent to $408 million.
    Total estimated project costs are $988 million, which includes the cost
of the contract with Hospital Infrastructure Partners as well as other
estimated costs such as new furniture and equipment, lifecycle costs,
financing costs, permits, architectural and engineering fees, transactional,
and project management fees.
    A Value for Money (VFM) report on the project will be posted on
Infrastructure Ontario's website within weeks. This third-party VFM assessment
identifies the benefits or value derived on this project as compared to a
traditional procurement model.
    "The new Sault Area Hospital will provide our community with a modern
health care environment, which will enhance our ability to operate a hospital
where it is excellent for staff to work, physicians to practice and patients
to receive care," said Ron Gagnon, President and CEO of the Sault Area
Hospital. "This agreement ensures that the hospital is built to the highest
standards in the agreed timeframe for a fixed price."
    "This project is obviously vitally important to our community in many
significant ways, not the least of which is the opportunity for our member
companies and their local employees to be involved in creating it," said Rick
Thomas, Manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Construction Association.
    The new Sault Area Hospital will replace the existing facilities at the
Plummer Memorial Hospital and the Sault Ste. Marie General Hospital sites and
consolidate services in a facility that is 20 per cent larger than the two
hospitals combined. The new hospital will have the capacity for 289 beds, will
house an emergency department twice its current size and, for the first time
will offer radiation therapy in the community.
    Once construction is completed, approximately 50 per cent of the
medical/surgical beds will be in private rooms. Private rooms reduce infection
rates and allow for more privacy between patients and their medical staff.
    Infrastructure Ontario will work with the Ministry of Health and
Long-Term Care and the Sault Area Hospital to build the new hospital, which
will remain publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable.
Infrastructure Ontario is a Crown corporation dedicated to managing some of
the province's larger and more complex infrastructure renewal projects -
ensuring they are built on time and on budget.
    This project is guided by principles outlined in the Province's Building
a Better Tomorrow framework, which ensures public ownership of core assets
such as hospitals, schools, and water and wastewater facilities. The Sault
Area Hospital project is one of many infrastructure projects being upgraded
and modernized under ReNew Ontario, the government's five-year, $30-billion
plus public infrastructure investment plan.


    The existing Sault Area Hospital (SAH) is an amalgamation of the former
Plummer Memorial Public Hospital and the Sault Ste. Marie General Hospital
Inc, which are currently located adjacent to one another. SAH is a 289-bed
facility that provides primary, secondary and tertiary-level services to a
total catchment population of more than 100,000 across the Algoma Region. The
hospital's comprehensive cancer treatment program includes chemotherapy,
biotherapy and full supportive care via the Algoma Regional Cancer Program,
located at the Plummer site.

    Sault Area Redevelopment Project

    The construction of the new Sault Area Hospital will consolidate the
services of the two sites under one roof in a three-level complex that is
close to long-term care facilities.
    The new hospital, which will be 20 per cent larger than the two hospitals
combined, will offer an expanded range of services including acute care,
rehabilitation, mental health services, complex continuing care and, for the
first time, a radiation treatment satellite. The introduction of radiation
treatment facilities will ensure that the more than 100,000 residents of Sault
Ste. Marie and Algoma region have closer-to-home access to this advanced-level

    The facility will house:
    -   A patient care area that is one-third larger than is currently
        available between both sites combined
    -   An emergency department that is double its current size and better
        equipped to meet today's infection control standards
    -   A ratio of 50 per cent private rooms in the medical/surgical units,
        and 45 per cent private rooms overall in all inpatient units,
        offering additional comfort and privacy to patients and their

    Construction is expected to begin in August 2007.

    Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Amy Tang, Minister's Office, Public
Infrastructure and Renewal, (416) 325-4048; Brady Irwin, Sault Area Hospital,
(705) 759-3837; Mandy Downes, Infrastructure Ontario, (416) 327-5325

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