2 Hospitals approach County for help funding hospital equipment

$10 million over 10 years — it’s going to cost us all

Article by Valerie MacDonald

The two hospitals in Northumberland County have asked Northumberland County Council for a $10-million donation over the next decade to provide technological equipment to treat patients and attract and retain staff.

This is over and above the targeted amount of money the Provincial Government provides, and community fundraising events both the Foundations for Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) and Campbellford Memorial Hospital (CMH) hold throughout the year.

“The community can’t do it all,” NHH Foundation spokesperson Rhonda Cunningham said.

And 70% of municipalities are providing some sort of support in this way, added CMH Foundation spokesperson John Russell.

Asked by Port Hope Mayor Bob Sanderson what that commitment would mean to the County budget and to residents, County Finance Director Glenn Dees replied it would increase the proposed 2022 budget by 1.7% to raise the first $1-million of the $10-million ask by the local hospitals.

Translated into the cost for an average homeowner, that would be $20.50 more in the 2020 budget, Dees said. (That is not taking into account any other County budget increases.)

“But what’s the impact on the rest of the (County) budget?” asked Deputy Warden and Cramahe Mayor Mandy Martin, “It also costs in other programs….Here’s another download and I’m not pleased about that.”

Martin also noted that the hospital equipment is “vital….It’s not a perk.”

During the beginning of presentation during the Special County Council Session held June 7, NHH chief executive officer Linda Davis said the hospitals have launched a trio of initiatives that include: faster and smarter care for patients; an integrated system in place to enhance patient and caregiver experiences through a new clinical information system; and programs to provide for lifesaving equipment and prepare for growth.

She noted that the hospitals are “vital” to the county and that was highlighted even more through the course of the pandemic.

The two hospitals employ over 1,000 full and part-time staff and provide a total economic impact in Northumberland of $199-million, Davis also said.

This is the first time the County has ever been asked to help fund hospital equipment. And at the end of the special county council meeting a resolution was passed that the request be forwarded to 2022 budget discussions.

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