Haliburton’s hospital is getting new sliding doors courtesy of Ontario government taxpayers. MPP Laurie Scott was in Haliburton Oct. 12 to make the announcement alongside Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) president and CEO Carolyn Plummer.

Scott said the investment of $130,000 will fund the replacement of the existing automatic accessible main doors. Plummer said the doors have been in operation for more than 20 years and have exceeded their life expectancy. 

As a result, she said repairs are becoming more frequent, while at the same time parts are becoming more difficult to source as the doors and parts are becoming obsolete. She added the doors operate frequently every day and need to be reliable. 

She’s hopeful the work can be done in the spring. “This funding allows us to replace the well-used main entrance at our Haliburton site, supporting both security and accessibility,” Plummer said. “We appreciate the support of the Ministry of Health in our ongoing efforts to maintain our facilities.” Scott said, “throughout the pandemic, our local hospitals have gone above and beyond to provide exceptional care to patients and families in Haliburton County. This new funding will help improve operations and support capacity building to ensure residents of Haliburton and surrounding areas have access to quality health care.” 

She said the money is part of the government’s $182.6 million investment provided through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund and the Community Infrastructure Renewal Fund. 

She added it will ensure that patients can continue to access the care they need in safe, comfortable environments and that the local health care system is prepared to respond to any scenario as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve. 

In a press release, the government said funding from the province allows its health care system partners to address urgent infrastructure renewal needs such as upgrades or replacements of roofs, windows, security systems, fire alarms and back-up generators. 

A total of $50 million from the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund will be used by hospitals for urgent projects, including those that support the health system’s response to COVID-19, such as upgrading HVAC systems to enhance patient and staff safety, and improving infection prevention and control measures.

 In addition to this new funding, Scott said HHHS also received a two per cent increase to their estimated base and one-time funding for 2020-21. 

The press release further noted that HHHS received $1.329 million in funding in 2020-21 through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund and the Local Health Integration Network for critical infrastructure upgrades.

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