A number of hospitals across Northwestern Ontario have benefited from the generous investments from the Ontario government to their centres.

This is part of the government's $1.2 billion dollar investment to help hospitals recover from the financial pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenora-Rainy River MPP, Greg Rickford traveled to Dryden, Kenora, and Fort Frances last week to share the government's plan to make sure hospitals are supported through these COVID struck times.

“It means support for the people that deliver our front-line services and in the context of COVID-19, we’re so appreciative of them. Our government wants to make sure they have the facilities and the financial resources to operate and offer good services and programs not just in the context of COVID but obviously recognizing the additional pressures that COVID-19 has put on these facilities,” said Rickford.

The Dryden Regional Health Centre received almost $1.2 million to assist with the financial burdens the pandemic has put on DRHC. The Ontario government is also investing $281,537 this year to support critical health care infrastructure upgrades, repairs, and maintenance in Dryden.

The money will be going towards upgrading the centres medical air, and some fixes to the central sterile reprocessing room. This funding is part of the government’s $175 million investment provided through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF) to help Ontario’s hospitals address urgent infrastructure renewal needs such as upgrades or replacements of roofs, windows, security systems, fire alarms, and backup generators.

“We appreciate the acknowledgment of the financial pressures that Dryden Regional Health Centre has been facing since before COVID-19, which have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. The Working Funds Initiative allocation will have a positive impact on DRHC's financial stability. We thank Minister Rickford for the ongoing support and advocacy he provides for DRHC and our patients.” said Doreen Armstrong-Ross, CEO of Dryden Regional Health Centre.

The Lake of the Woods District Hospital in Kenora is another recipient of the province's generous investment as they received $477,150 to support critical health care infrastructure work.

“Our government is committed to supporting hospitals and health care facilities in Northwestern Ontario,” said Greg Rickford, MPP for Kenora–Rainy River. “This investment will enhance the quality of care, comfort, and safety for patients, staff, and families across our community.”

The hospital will use the allocated funds to create a functional and well-flowing obstetrics unit, which in turn will benefit the patient, staff, and physician.

“Lake of the Woods District Hospital is very appreciative of the $477,150 funding approval by the Ministry of Health from the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund. This approval will enable the hospital to address urgent infrastructure needs in our patient care spaces, a key challenge we face in our aging facility”, said Ray Racette, President, and CEO of Lake of the Woods District Hospital. “We also extend appreciation to Minister Greg Rickford for his ongoing advocacy for investing in our infrastructure renewal”.

Riverside Health Care in Fort Frances was the recipient of over $5.5 million from the provincial government.

“Today’s announcements ensure our organization is able to continue to provide quality health care for the people of the Rainy River District,” said Henry Gauthier, President, and CEO of Riverside Health Care. “We thank the provincial government and our MPP, the Honourable Greg Rickford, for their continued support of the health care system both provincially and across the Rainy River District.” 

The Ontario government is also investing $148,664 this year to support critical health care infrastructure upgrades, repairs, and maintenance in Fort Frances.