Smiths Falls hospital gets $7M boost

·3 min read

SMITHS FALLS – The Ontario government is providing new funding to Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital to address a working funds deficit.

In an announcement Friday similar to one he made at Brockville General Hospital the day before, local MPP Steve Clark announced that Perth and Smiths Falls District Hospital will receive more than $7.1 million in one-time funding to address the hospital's longstanding working funds deficit.

The hospital will receive $7,143,800 from the province.

"The hospital continues to provide exceptional care for patients and families and this is a massive one-time investment that ensures that this hospital is placed in a stronger financial position, is able to grow and is able to thrive to meet the needs of the community," said Clark, the MPP for Leeds-Grenville-Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes.

The new funding builds on existing investments. The province is also providing funding of $1.2 billion to help hospitals in Ontario recover from the financial impacts of the pandemic.

The long-term debt funding, meanwhile, is part of a provincial commitment of up to $696.6 million this year to help tackle historic working funds deficits for qualifying hospitals.

On Thursday, Clark announced Brockville's cut from that program, of $25.6 million.

The funding is focused on rehabilitation hospitals, and small and medium-sized hospitals like the Perth-Smiths Falls facility.

A working funds deficit occurs when an organization's current liabilities exceed current working assets. Any hospital that had a working funds deficit in 2019 to 2020 qualified for the funding.

"I just feel grateful for the heroic efforts that this hospital has done, rising to the challenge of COVID-19, and I'm very pleased as an MPP that I can look now as my 11 years in legislature that I will never have to stand up again and rail against unnecessary cuts against front-line health care, that our government has fixed both the funding formula and working capital deficit," said Clark.

"This is an extremely important moment for this hospital," said Gardner Church, chairman of the hospital's board of directors. "We're very grateful of where we are now."

"We needed to do something about the working capital problem and that's why we made the announcement today," added Clark.

He hopes that the new funding relief will help hospitals with their long-term plans to hire more staff while working through the pandemic and the uncertainties that follow.

"This funding announcement will provide the ability of the hospital to continue to respond to COVID as well as other health care needs that arise in our communities and we'll be able to enhance our services and support the provision of high quality care," said Nancy Shaw, the hospital's interim president and CEO.

Clark said strengthening community hospitals has been a priority of his and he is thrilled to be announcing an infusion of funds to support high-quality health care during the pandemic and as the hospital moves toward the future.

Jessica Munro, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting