Premier Doug Ford speaking at a podium

NEWS RELEASE: Ontario Building a Stronger, More Resilient SHN

Investments will support planning for over $1 billion in new health infrastructure to care for families in Scarborough

April 14, 2022

SCARBOROUGH — As part of its plan to stay open, Ontario is investing over $1 billion in several major redevelopment and expansion projects for the Scarborough Health Network. This funding will build more capacity for Scarborough and surrounding communities as the province adds more hospital beds and health care workers to ensure the health system is better able to respond to crisis.

“Because of underfunding and neglect, the people of Scarborough have been forced to make do with aging hospital infrastructure with limited space to deliver the care they deserve,” said Premier Doug Ford. “While previous governments were okay with forgetting Scarborough, we are investing over $1 billion to give this community access to the world class health care they have been asking for. We’re getting it done for the people of Scarborough.”

Scarborough Health Network currently provides care to more than 832,000 people in one of Canada’s most diverse communities. As Scarborough and the surrounding communities continue to grow, so will the demand for health care services. To build the necessary capacity to meet this demand, the government is working with Scarborough Health Network on several projects that through a phased approach will redesign and reimagine aging hospital facilities for the people of Scarborough.


Building a new Birchmount Hospital

The government is investing an additional $3 million to plan a new Birchmount Hospital, which is a key part of Scarborough Health Network’s broader plan to transform health care in the region. The network plans to build the new Birchmount Hospital by making major renovations to the existing facility and building new infrastructure over the course of this phased billion-dollar redevelopment.

As part of the first phase, planning is underway to build a new, state-of-the-art inpatient tower with more than 200 new beds, 14 new operating rooms and additional space to support future growth. Once completed, Birchmount Hospital is planned to have over 450 beds, nearly doubling the current capacity.

Health care services at the hospital are also planned to be expanded as part of the redevelopment, including medicine, surgery, critical and emergency care, mental health and addictions care and stroke and rehabilitation care. With these enhanced services, Scarborough Health Network will be able to provide high-quality care to patients for generations to come.


Expanding emergency care services at Centenary Hospital

Building a stronger, more resilient health care system in Scarborough means creating space so that local emergency departments are not overcapacity. Scarborough Health Network provides care to more than 200,000 patients every year in its three emergency departments, which are often at double their intended capacity of visits.

To ensure that families in Scarborough can access emergency care when they need it, Ontario previously invested $500,000 to support the redevelopment of the emergency department and fracture clinic at Centenary Hospital. The redevelopment, which has now moved to Stage 2 of the planning process, will expand emergency services by replacing aging infrastructure with the latest in emergency medicine design and technology and creating more space for emergency care.


Funding a new chronic kidney disease program at Bridletowne Neighbourhood Centre

Scarborough Health Network has the largest nephrology program in Ontario and provides care for more than 6,000 patients every year. To help the network continue to provide high-quality care and meet the growing demand for dialysis treatment in Scarborough, the government is supporting the planning and construction of a new chronic kidney disease facility that will be located in the new Bridletowne Neighbourhood Centre community hub.

The new facility will expand the network’s hemodialysis and chronic kidney disease programs and bring services together under one roof to make it easier and more convenient for patients to access lifesaving treatment.


Modernizing surgical services and expanding diagnostic imaging services at the General Hospital

The government is investing over $20 million in renovations at Scarborough General Hospital that will expand diagnostic imaging services and modernize one of the operating rooms to meet the community’s growing needs. This will improve access to care for patients by having one central location for diagnostic imaging and updating one of the oldest operating rooms in Ontario. Ontario continues to work with the hospital to advance the project.

“Our government is looking at every part of our health care system to improve access to care for patients and bolster the incredible work of our local hospitals,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Every project at Scarborough Health Network will help meet the health care needs of families in the growing Scarborough community and put an end to hallway health care.”

Ontario is making investments in health infrastructure projects like these to help expand capacity across the health care system to treat more patients and improve access to integrated care. To further support the high-quality care provided by Ontario’s hospitals, the government is providing an additional $827 million to hospitals across the province, representing a four per cent increase from last year. This will ensure all publicly funded hospitals receive a minimum two per cent increase to their budgets to help them better meet patient needs, while building a stronger, more resilient health care system.


Quick Facts

  • Scarborough Health Network consists of Birchmount Hospital, General Hospital, Centenary Hospital and five satellite sites.
  • During the pandemic, Scarborough Health Network ran some of the busiest hospital-led vaccine clinics in Canada, successfully delivering over 750,000 vaccines to some of Ontario’s most vulnerable populations.
  • As part of the government’s over $1.2 billion investment to help hospitals recover from financial pressures created and worsened by COVID-19, Scarborough Health Network received over $10 million for 2020-21 lost revenue to provide financial stability and support continued high-quality patient care, and $26.8 million to help recover historic working funds deficits.
  • To support high-quality care in Scarborough and the surrounding region, the government increased Scarborough Health Network’s operating funding for the third straight year. In the 2021-22 fiscal year, the hospital received over $12 million in additional operating funding, representing an increase of 2.5 per cent to the operating funding the hospital received in 2020-21.
  • As part of the government’s $760 million commitment in the 2021 Budget to support over 3,100 additional hospital beds during the COVID-19 pandemic, Scarborough Health Network received funding for up to 20 acute care, 20 transitional care and eight critical care beds.
  • To support growing demands on the health care system, Ontario’s investments over the next 10 years will lead to $30 billion in health infrastructure across the province. These investments will increase capacity in hospitals, build new health care facilities and renew existing hospitals and community health centres.

Quotes

“With these health care investments our government is saying Yes to the people of Scarborough. Our government is putting Scarborough front and centre by making real investments in health care. This is a great day for Scarborough.”

– Raymond Cho
MPP for Scarborough North

“I am proud and humbled to be able to participate in this historic announcement. For too long, Scarborough-Agincourt has been ignored. Not anymore. After 15 years of neglect, broken promises, and dilapidated infrastructure in Scarborough-Agincourt and Scarborough, we are getting the attention we deserve. Under the leadership of Premier Ford and Minister Elliott, we are building Ontario to better serve the people of Scarborough North and Scarborough at large. Today is a landmark day for our residents. Many future generations will fondly remember and cherish this day. The wait is over. A new dawn is shining on our residents’ life. I am honoured to represent the great community of Scarborough-Agincourt. I will leave no stone unturned to continue to improve the quality of life for the residents of Scarborough-Agincourt and make it a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

– Aris Babikian
MPP for Scarborough-Agincourt

“After years of neglect by the previous government, Scarborough is finally getting an improved health care system that the residents of Scarborough deserve. Our government is investing in key infrastructure projects like the redevelopment of Centenary Hospital’s aging emergency department and the proposed new and improved Birchmount Hospital, which will not only improve the quality of service patients receive but increase access to health care for Scarborough residents.”

– Vijay Thanigasalam
MPP for Scarborough-Rouge Park

“I am pleased to see that the Scarborough Health Network is being prioritized by our government through these numerous pieces of intuitive funding. I particularly can’t wait for our government to make shovels in the ground for a new Birchmount hospital a reality, what an exciting time for the people of Scarborough!”

– Christina Mitas
MPP for Scarborough Centre

“This is an historic day for health care in Scarborough. Today’s announcement will see our vision for new and updated hospital facilities become a reality. This milestone investment in Scarborough will allow us to continue providing exceptional care now and in the future for our growing community.”

– Elizabeth Buller
President and CEO, Scarborough Health Network