MUHC Director General and CEO Dr. Arthur T. Porter welcomed today's announcement by the Government of Quebec to move to the construction phase of development for the MUHC within the McGill network and for the CHUM and CHUME Sainte-Justine within the Université de Montréal network.
The government's commitment to the first phase of construction for the redevelopment of the MUHC gives the green light to build a new Montreal Children's Hospital at the Glen Campus and to modernize the Montreal General Hospital as the new Mountain Campus. This first phase will be constructed as a conventional public infrastructure project.
"The construction of our new children's hospital will confirm McGill's role as a leader in pediatric medicine, research and teaching while the modernization of the Montreal General is the first step in ensuring that the MUHC is equipped with much-needed state-of-the-art adult care facilities," said Dr. Porter. "This announcement finally gives shape to our vision of the MUHC as an academic adult and pediatric health care centre that has the means to take its place alongside the world's best and provide patients with the most advanced medical expertise and technology."
The government has also recognized certain additional costs such as indexation and has increased Quebec's contribution to the redevelopment project by $154.7 million on the original $800-million commitment.
Health and Social Services Minister Philippe Couillard and Treasury Board President Monique Jérôme-Forget also opened the door for the MUHC to pursue partnerships with private-sector partners for later phases of the MUHC's redevelopment project, including adult care pavilions and research facilities.
"We have two major commitments at the MUHC. First, we intend to bring our project in on schedule and on budget. Our target date remains 2010-11 for the completion of this project. Second, we will not compromise on excellence and innovation in clinical care, research, teaching and technology assessment. We are looking for partners that not only share our vision for the future of the health care field but are also ready to invest their expertise and financial resources to help us achieve our goals," noted Dr. Porter.
He pointed out that the public-private partnership model (PPP) for the development of public infrastructure, including hospitals, has been around for over ten years in Europe, Australia and increasingly in other Canadian provinces. "There are many variations possible under the PPP umbrella. It is a model that can be adapted to local circumstances and to specific projects. The government's announcement gives us the tools to move forward with the development of practical business cases to take advantage of private capital and expertise in a way that respects our collective agreements and enhances our capacity to provide outstanding care for our patients," added Dr. Porter. He said he was further reassured by Minister Couillard's confirmation that the MUHC will at all times continue to be the maître d'oeuvre of the project.
"Anyone who has visited hospitals in other major cities recognizes the need for new facilities here in Montreal. Today's announcement by the government doesn't come a minute too soon," he stated. "Also, the government's commitment to the renewal of Montreal's university hospital infrastructure puts us on the right track to make this city a global leader in health care, medical research and teaching because it will allow our leading hospitals to fulfill their potential as centres of excellence. The health care benefits to the Quebec population are obvious. In addition, these new health centres will provide the foundation for significant economic expansion, notably in the important life sciences knowledge sector. This investment in the future will pay major dividends to Montrealers and all Quebecers," concluded Dr. Porter.
About the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC)
The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) is a comprehensive academic health institution with an international reputation for excellence in clinical programs, research and teaching. The MUHC is a merger of five teaching hospitals affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University — the Montreal Children's, Montreal General, Royal Victoria, and Montreal Neurological Hospitals, as well as the Montreal Chest Institute. Building on the tradition of medical leadership of the founding hospitals, the goal of the MUHC is to provide patient care based on the most advanced knowledge in the health care field, and to contribute to the development of new knowledge.