The Ontario government is investing an additional $19.4 million to expand health care services provided by Weeneebayko Area Health Authority and improve access to health care in Northern Ontario. The funding will be used to support planning and redevelopment of a culturally appropriate health campus that will include a new hospital and a lodge in Moosonee, as well as a new ambulatory care centre on Moose Factory Island.
The announcement was made today by Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs.
"Expanding services provided by Weeneebayko Area Health Authority is essential to help fix the long-standing challenges with accessing care in Moosonee, Moose Factory Island and across Northern Ontario," said Elliott. "This funding will help ensure that the people and families living along the James Bay Coast will have access to the facilities and services needed to meet the growing needs of the community. Investing in hospital infrastructure is part of our government's plan to end hallway health care across the province."
The new Weeneebayko General Hospital will be relocated to Moosonee from Moose Factory Island and once complete, the state-of-the-art hospital will include the following:
36 inpatient beds, in private rooms, supporting culturally safe care;
A larger, 24/7 emergency department;
Modern surgical suites;
Dialysis treatments and diagnostic imaging;
Expanded mental health and addictions programming; and
Improved primary health care services.
As well, a new 32-bed lodge will be constructed in Moosonee, allowing for local Elders to remain in the community to receive the care they need.
The current hospital facility located on Moose Factory Island will be redeveloped to serve as a new ambulatory care centre and will continue to deliver care and services to patients on the Island. Services will include emergency health services, access to primary health care, diagnostic imaging capabilities, physiotherapy treatments, and increased health promotion.
"Once fully operational the new Moosonee hospital, lodge, and ambulatory care centre on Moose Factory Island will provide patients in the region with a new health campus that supports current models of care in a culturally appropriate environment," said Rickford. "They will also provide additional access to care for patients in neighbouring communities, allowing them to stay closer to home, where they can be near family and friends."
"We are very excited to move forward with a regional health campus that will guide fulfilling our goal to provide optimal health care in our traditional territory and building a centre of excellence for Indigenous Health Care," said Lynne Innes, President and Chief Executive Officer of Weeneebayko Area Health Authority.