Niagara Health System Project Team Selection Process to Begin

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Posted May 13th, 2008

Niagara, ON - Today is the deadline for the pre-qualified building teams to submit their proposals to design, build, finance and maintain the Niagara Health System's (NHS) new health care complex to be constructed in St. Catharines.

Over the next few months, NHS and Infrastructure Ontario will evaluate the bidders' proposals based on criteria set out in the Request for Proposals (RFP) from a technical, financial and patient care-centred perspective. The successful bidder will be announced in fall 2008 when the evaluation process is complete.

The RFP, issued in August 2007, outlined the approved scope of the new hospital project upon which the bidders were to base their proposals and cost estimates.

The new, state-of-the-art health care complex will accommodate new regional services that have never before been available in Niagara such as cardiac catheterization, longer-term mental health beds and comprehensive cancer care services to be provided at the Walker Family Cancer Centre. The new site will also act as the centre of regional dialysis services, supported by the permanent dialysis unit being constructed in Welland.

The maximum 375-bed community hospital will replace the aging St. Catharines General and Ontario Street Sites in St. Catharines, offering a full-range of acute/critical care, surgical, emergency, longer-term mental health and ambulatory services.

The St. Catharines facility is the first new hospital to be constructed as a Design, Build, Finance and Maintain (DBFM) project in partnership with Infrastructure Ontario under the provincial government's Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP) delivery model. Following the selection of the preferred bidder this fall, a final contract will be negotiated. Project costs will be shared with the public following financial close of the project, with construction expected to begin shortly thereafter.

"As one of the largest infrastructure projects currently being planned in Ontario, this new hospital demonstrates our government's commitment to provide resources and facilities to serve the health care needs of people across Ontario," said David Caplan, Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal. "This project is part of the government's five-year $30-billion-plus infrastructure investment plan, which represents the biggest investment in health care infrastructure in more than a generation."

"The bid submissions mark another important milestone for healthcare in Niagara," said Jim Bradley, MPP for St. Catharines. "With the addition of the new regional services, our vision of a new community hospital for the residents of St. Catharines, Thorold, Niagara-on-the-Lake and immediate area is one step closer to becoming a reality."

"The government's investment in Niagara is important to everyone in our region and is an example of the McGuinty government's commitment to bring specialized care closer to home," said Kim Craitor, MPP for Niagara Falls. "Traveling to Hamilton and beyond for radiation treatment, cardiac catheterization or longer-term mental healthcare will in most cases be a thing of the past, as the region will finally have close-to-home care here in our own backyard."

"We are thrilled to be months away from confirming what the building will look like and breaking ground this fall," said Debbie Sevenpifer, NHS President and CEO. "This latest milestone moves us another step closer to bringing new health services to the people of Niagara and providing our health care professionals with up-to-date modern facilities and equipment to provide our patients with the quality care that they deserve."

"A project of this size and complexity requires a tremendous amount of planning before construction can begin," explained NHS Chief Planning and Development Officer Gloria Kain. "We have been working very closely with the three bidders over the past nine months, and with the submission of their proposals today, we are a significant step closer to beginning construction on the new health care complex."

"This is good news for the people of Niagara," said Terrence Sullivan, President and CEO, Cancer Care Ontario. "The new centre means the people in this area will no longer have to travel outside of the region for life-saving radiation treatment and will have access to high-quality cancer services as close to home as possible."

Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will work with the Niagara Health System to build the new health care complex, which will remain publicly owned, publicly controlled and publicly accountable. Infrastructure Ontario is a Crown corporation dedicated to managing some of the province's larger and more complex infrastructure renewal projects – ensuring they are built on time and on budget.

This project is guided by principles outlined in the Province's Building a Better Tomorrow framework, which ensures public ownership of core assets such as hospitals, schools, and water and wastewater facilities.

Visit www.infrastructureontario.ca or NHS Building Up for more information.

Niagara Health System