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Royal Victoria Hospital receives operating fund boost

BARRIE, Ont. – The Royal Victoria Hospital will receive $13.8 million in new base funding to begin expanding services, as part of the Phase 1 Expansion Project. This Post-Construction Operating Plan (PCOP) funding will help ensure a safe, smooth transition as the hospital begins to expand services and enhance access to care.

The 2011-12 funding will be used to increase patient visits and procedures and to fund additional facility costs. The money will also support staff recruitment, orientation to the new building and equipment commissioning.

“As we enter the home-stretch of construction on the expansion, this funding announcement is extremely good news. It begins to ensure we will have adequate operating funds to open the expansion next year and provide safe, quality healthcare to the residents of Simcoe Muskoka,” says Janice Skot (pictured), RVH President and CEO. “This investment will allow RVH to steadily ramp up volumes and services so when we open the doors to the Phase 1 Expansion in early 2012, we are fully prepared.”

Post Construction Operating Plan funding is a critical element of a hospital expansion. It is the funding required to cover the new, additional costs of increased services, patient volume and workload that come with a redevelopment.

This is the third installment of PCOP funding that Royal Victoria Hospital has received, bringing the total to more than $18 million. That money will flow over three years and is rolled into the hospital’s annual operating budget, which in 2010-11 was about $220 million.

“The Local Health Integration Network is pleased Royal Victoria Hospital has received this funding, the need of which was supported in the recent, external Operational Review of the hospital,” says Bernie Blais, CEO of the North Simcoe Muskoka LHIN. “This funding ensures residents of North Simcoe Muskoka will have access to coronary care and cancer care closer to home.”

RVH’s Phase 1 Expansion Project is now 85 percent complete and remains on-track to open in early 2012, with occupancy phased-in over the next three years.

The $450 million redevelopment includes capacity for 165 new inpatient beds, including the region’s only Coronary Care Unit, two new operating suites, as well as the Simcoe Muskoka Regional Cancer Centre. The project will also triple the size of the hospital’s Emergency Department and significantly expand the laboratory and imaging department.

“Providing safe quality care to our patients remains RVH’s top priority and this investment ensures this continued focus,” says Jon Babulic, Chair of RVH’s Board of Directors. “Knowing adequate operational funding is in place allows hospital staff, physicians and volunteers to focus on a safe, carefully-staged move into the new building.”

In addition to the PCOP funding, RVH received one-time funding of $4.5 million in August to open 24 interim transitional beds, expand Operating Room hours and retrofit existing space for new day surgery suites as well as expand Geriatric Emergency and Nurse Practitioner coverage.

“We are extremely grateful for this funding and Royal Victoria Hospital will continue to work very closely with the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network to ensure a safe, successful opening of the expansion,” says Skot.

Posted October 20, 2011