Hamilton city council faces numerous challenges in the next few months, but few will be as delicate and potentially precedent-setting as how council responds to requests for money from Hamilton Health Sciences, St. Joseph's Health Care and the Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre. All three want the city to pony up with cash for hospital redevelopment, renovation and expansion.
St. Joseph's Healthcare is seeking $48.5 million over five years and the Hamilton Regional Cancer Centre wants $3 million over five years.
Yesterday, HHS management and board outlined their redevelopment proposals for The Spectator's editorial board. It's an ambitious plan, many parts of which are clearly needed to maintain and improve the level of service at the city's largest and busiest hospital network, which serves patients from nearby communities as well as Hamilton proper.
It's also an expensive vision, and HHS wants the city to step in with a major contribution of up to $60 million, spread over 10 years.
So, together, the institutions are seeking something in excess of $111 million dollars from the local treasury.
At first blush, an entirely understandable response from city council might be: Where on earth are we supposed to come up with this kind of money, especially when we're juggling so many other fiscal priorities? Source.