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St. Joseph's Hospital renos take aim at 'hallway health'

  • April 28, 2022

It’s early days, but Toronto’s St. Joseph’s Hospital is looking ahead to a $1-billion building spree that will give the west-end hospital an expanded emergency department, space for medical and surgical inpatient programs, new wards for mental health care, expanded intensive-care capacity and new operating rooms.

“The investment will help us end hallway health care, significantly improve the patient care experience, operate more efficiently and economically and improve access for those in our community who are most vulnerable,” Unity Health spokesperson Jennifer Stranges told The Catholic Register in an email.

The province’s funding commitment comes before there are any detailed plans. The approval comes at stage two of a five-stage planning process.

“Stage 2 is considered very early planning and required us to map out the programs and services that will be included in the new patient-care wing and the resources required for development,” Stranges said. “We will begin to develop preliminary block and sketch level design and outline in greater detail the major components, timelines and cost for approval in Stage 3 of the capital-planning process.”

The redevelopment project will put a new tower on the southeast corner of the existing hospital campus, replacing older infrastructure, according to a Unity Health press release. Unity Health is the corporation that owns and runs Toronto’s three major Catholic hospitals — St. Joe’s, St. Michael’s and Providence Healthcare. All three were established by the Sisters of St. Joseph.

At the end of the project, St. Joseph’s should have 100 new beds, bringing its capacity to over 400 beds. The west-end community hospital already serves about 500,000 Torontonians, but expects that population to increase 15 per cent to 625,000 in the next 10 years. At present, St. Joe’s sees 100,000 emergency visits per year and admits about 21,000 patients.

“The Sisters of St. Joseph were called to serve those in need with simplicity and compassion — the homeless, the alienated, the poor, women and risk,” Etobicoke-Lakeshore MPP Christine Hogarth said in a press release. “We are proud to support their legacy through today’s expansion and redevelopment funding announcement.”

Queen’s Park has committed to spending $30 billion over the next 10 years on health infrastructure across Ontario.

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