As part of its plan to build a stronger and more resilient health care system that is better prepared to respond to crisis, the Ontario government is investing up to $2.5 million to support early planning for Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s new South Campus Health Hub in Innisfil. This funding will support planning to add this new health centre to Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s network to expand health care services and improve access to care for patients and families in Barrie and south Simcoe County communities as they continue to grow.
“After decades of inaction from previous governments, we are making historic investments in hospital infrastructure all across Ontario,” said Premier Doug Ford. “With this investment, the people and families of Simcoe County will now have access to the world class health care that this growing community needs and deserves.”
The new South Campus is part of Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s integrated “one system; two site” capital plan which will evolve over the next two decades to build new infrastructure and upgrade existing facilities. The South Campus is planned to be implemented in a phased manner, starting with ambulatory and urgent care services, so that patients are envisioned to have access to outpatient services closer to home, including day surgeries, minor medical procedures, treatments and diagnostic tests. The new South Campus Health Hub will also free up capacity and reduce wait times at the North Campus Emergency Department.
“Investing in Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s new South Campus builds on our government’s work to end hallway health care and ensure Ontarians have access to the care they need closer to home,” said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This investment will ensure the hospital can meet the growing demands of patients in Barrie and Simcoe County so they can continue to receive high-quality care and services for generations to come.”
Earlier this year, Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, granted the Town of Innisfil Council’s request for a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) to accelerate the development of the new South Campus Health Hub on an 83-acre site in Innisfil. In partnership with local municipal councils, MZOs are an important part of the Ontario government’s toolkit to move critical local projects forward at the pace Ontarians need and deserve, such as health care facilities and housing.
“This MZO to accelerate the creation of the new South Campus Health Hub is yet another way our government is helping to get shovels in the ground for more hospitals, housing, and long-term care facilities, and build a stronger Ontario for everyone,” said Minister Clark. “We will continue to provide our municipal partners, like the Town of Innisfil, with the tools and resources they need to deliver vital projects to their community.”
- Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre provides care to approximately 490,000 patients every year, including 84,200 patients who visit the hospital’s emergency department and 1,970 babies who are born at the hospital. These numbers are expected to increase as the communities the hospital serves continue to grow.
- To support high-quality care in Barrie and the surrounding communities, the Ontario government is increasing Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s operating funding for the third straight year. Starting in 2021-22, the hospital will receive over $14 million in additional operating funding, representing an increase of 5.6 per cent to the operating funding the hospital received in 2020-21.
- Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre received over $6.1 million for 2020-21 lost revenue as a result of the pandemic in order to provide financial stability and support continued high-quality patient care. This funding is part of the government’s over $1.2 billion investment to help hospitals recover from financial pressures created and worsened by COVID-19.
- As part of the government’s $760 million commitment in the 2021 Budget to support an additional 3,100 hospital beds during the pandemic, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre received funding for up to 97 transitional care beds and 54 acute care beds.
- To support growing demands on the health care system, the government is investing $30.2 billion over the next 10 years in health infrastructure across Ontario to address longstanding challenges around hospital bed shortages in the hospital sector. These investments will increase capacity in hospitals, build new health care facilities, and renew existing hospitals and community health centres.
- On October 27, 2021, the Town of Innisfil’s Council unanimously passed a council resolution to request a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO). This MZO kickstarts the project’s zoning approvals process; the Town of Innisfil maintains other approvals including site plan and consulting with conservation authorities, and remains responsible for getting this project across the finish line.
- The MZO includes an Environmental Protection Zone, which captures the natural heritage features located on the subject lands. This zoning category was developed through collaboration with the Town of Innisfil, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre and the Lake Simcoe and Region Conservation Authority.