February 19, 2009
Media Release

York Region Hospital Capital Funding

 

Why is York Region Funding Hospitals?

• Similar to other municipalities across Ontario, York Region has a long history of providing funding to its community hospitals to help offset funding shortfalls in hospital capital expansion projects.
• This funding predates incorporation of The Regional Municipality of York in 1971.
• York Region is currently served by three hospitals …quot; Markham-Stouffville Hospital in the Town of Markham, Southlake Hospital in the Town of Newmarket and York Central Hospital in the Town of Richmond Hill.  A fourth hospital is currently being planned for the City of Vaughan.
• In 1997 the Ontario government made hospitals ineligible for Development Charge (DC) funding. (DCs are one-time fees charged to developers for new commercial and residential development to help fund local infrastructure and services.)
• Without DCs, Ontario’s growth municipalities were encouraged to share in a one-third share of hospital capital funding …quot; including for hospital beds and diagnostic equipment to provide necessary community services.
• In 2001, York Region entered into a nine-year agreement with our three existing hospitals to assist them to meet their capital requirements.  York Region’s annual contribution under this agreement has been $7.3 million in each year.
• The current Ontario Government has chosen not to reinstate DCs at this time.
 
Why is Hospital Expansion needed?
• York Region’s current population now exceeds one million people, and the Region is expected to grow to 1.5 million people by 2031.  Combined with an aging demographic, our existing three hospitals cannot meet York Region’s rate of population growth or demand for care without expanding.
• Without some guarantee of funding from York Region, it is unlikely that the Ontario Government will provide funding commitments for future Hospital expansion.  Hospital projects with community funding in place raises the priority for Provincial funds.
 
What is the new agreement?
• York Region’s 2009 Operating Budget increases The Regional Municipality of York’s hospital finance contribution in 2009 to $12 million.
• York Region will consider entering into a multi-year commitment for hospital financing extending to 2031.
 
What is York Region doing to phase out our funding role?
• York Regional Council has stated that the funding of hospital capital projects should be the sole responsibility of the Province of Ontario.
• Members of York Regional Council and Regional staff will work with our hospital partners to continue to advocate for the Ontario Government reinstate DCs for a portion of hospital expansion costs.
• Regional Council has directed that the funding be subject to a number of principles, including:
o Continued advocacy for DC funding
o Contributions only to Provincially approved and funded projects
o Regional contributions decrease with any increased funding by the Province or other levels of government
o Expansions address growing delays for paramedics’ transferring patients to hospital ER staff
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca

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Media Contact: Ken Turriff, Corporate Communications, York Region
                      Phone: 905 830-4444 / toll-free 1-877-464-9675, Ext. 1226
                      Cell: 905 251-6415 / Email: ken.turriff@york.ca
 
 

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