May 6, 2002

James Bullbrook
Restructuring Communications
519-685-8500, ext. 75532


Health Minister announces major capital funding for London hospitals

(LONDON, Ontario) - Minister of Health and Long-Term Care Tony Clement today announced major capital funding for London hospitals. St. Joseph's Health Care London (SJHC) and the London Health Sciences Centre (LHSC) are receiving additional capital funds towards their rebuilding plans.

The additional funding brings the Ministry's total contribution to the London hospitals' redevelopment to $211 million, an increase from $150 million announced in 1999. The total project cost now stands at $369.5 million. Thanks to unprecedented community support, more than $127 million has already been raised toward the London Hospitals Capital Campaign goal of $150 million.

"Rebuilding London's hospital system is an exciting prospect - especially because of the community resolve and support to make it happen. We are a community achieving what some might think is impossible - the transformation of an entire hospital system. London has embraced a new vision for the future while upholding the values and histories upon which they were founded," said Cliff Nordal, president and CEO of St. Joseph's Health Care London.

SJHC received $43.5 million (an increase from $22 million in 1999) toward a total project cost of $99.5 million. The increase covers enhancements to the SJHC master plan including a new two-storey perioperative and diagnostic imaging building and new operating rooms.

LHSC received $168 million (an increase from $128 million in 1999) toward a total project cost of $270 million. This will allow LHSC to close the South Street site (formerly Victoria Hospital) and transfer acute care programs from St. Joseph's Health Care London. The increased investment at Victoria Campus allows LHSC to finally construct a custom-designed children's hospital adjoining the Grace Donnelly Women's Health Pavilion.

"With the Minister's endorsement of the future vision of London hospitals, we are ready to move full speed ahead with the challenging work of making this vision a reality for our health care providers, students, and most importantly, for our patients," said Tony Dagnone, president and CEO of LHSC. Dagnone added, "This announcement is an expression of confidence on the part of the provincial government that London will be a premier medical centre in Ontario with national recognition."