The Ministry of Health has confirmed funding approval for the Deep River and District Hospital (DRDH) to receive just over $925,000 in much needed infrastructure funding, under the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF).
The Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund was established in 1999 to assist hospitals in renewing their facilities. HIRF funding is for infrastructure renewal projects that extend the useful life of the facility or improve the facility’s quality or functionality, provided that such improvements do not result in an increase to the hospital’s approved operating funding base. HIRF funding may not be used to purchase medical equipment, support COVID-19 response, or support day-to-day operations.
With this year’s HIRF funding, the Deep River and District Hospital will be working hard to replace aged critical infrastructure to ensure the facility is able to meet the needs of our communities. Specifically, the funding will be allocated to replace and upgrade the original electrical service and distribution.
William Willard, Vice-President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer, stated that, “HIRF funding allows our organization to make costly upgrades that may otherwise be delayed due to the growing financial pressures on health care organizations. With the added financial pressures faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, this funding is welcomed so we can make these much needed upgrades to or facility without impacting our operating budget and existing cash flows.”
The organization has been quite successful in their applications for funding under the HIRF program over the last several years. In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, HIRF funding allowed for the replacement of the nurse call and fire panel systems throughout the facility, as well as expand areas that are serviced by emergency back-up power. In the 2019-2020 fiscal year, HIRF funding allowed for the replacement of the hot water boilers.
In addition to continuing to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, completing this electrical system upgrade will become a top priority for the organization. Richard Bedard, President and CEO, expressed that, “this funding approval is the result of significant work by our Senior Leadership Team over the past several months. In addition to tirelessly working to protect our staff, patients, residents, and the community from COVID-19, our Leadership Team has been able to remain forward-thinking and ensure our organization has up-to-date infrastructure to continue to provide an excellent, compassionate health care experience for our communities”. Bedard further noted that, “on behalf of the organization, we would also like to sincerely thank the Ministry of Health for this infrastructure investment”.