Province gives Bluewater Health funding for infrastructure upgrades

The money is part of the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund

(Lambton Shield File Photo)

Bluewater Health has received a $1.2 million funding boost from the provincial government for infrastructure upgrades at its Sarnia and Petrolia locations.

The funding will go towards a “chiller plant” — which deals with cooling — and ongoing boiler upgrades at Bluewater Health in Sarnia. In Petrolia, security upgrades and a controlled substance remediation project will occur, according to Alex Sullo, director of facilities with Bluewater Health.

The projects have already begun, said Sullo, adding Bluewater Health anticipates the annual funding and begins the planning process to ensure construction can start shortly after the money has been released.

“Planning, specifications, all that stuff has started,” he said. “We’re quite prepared.”

“You could see a new chiller installed in the winter months, maybe early 2018,” Sullo said.

Bluewater Health must complete the project during this fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2018.

The money is part of the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund, which allows hospitals to make upgrades or replacements to roofs, windows, heating and air conditioning systems, fire alarms, and back-up generators.

This year, the province is investing $175 million in repairs and upgrades to hospitals through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund.

“It all lends itself to patient care,” said Sullo. “People might think how does infrastructure connect, but it’s the foundation that supports the patient care and the quality of care our patients receive.”

“These investments, intended to help improve local-area hospitals’ infrastructure, are great news for our region,” said Ralph Ganter, CEO of the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network. “Hospitals need to focus their attention on frontline care, but well maintained hospital facilities are also crucial for overall patient experience. These investments will help alleviate some of the ongoing pressures for our local-area hospitals.”

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