Ontario?s Premier Ernie Eves made a campaign commitment Tuesday in Thunder Bay by announcing that a full campus of the northern medical school would be built in Thunder Bay.
?I made a commitment to the people of Thunder Bay, and indeed to all people in the north, that there would be two full medical school campuses in northern Ontario to help address the shortage of doctors,? said Eves.
?We believe we need to tackle physician supply issues head-on by training our doctors right here in the north.?
The new medical school will include a full campus at Lakehead University and another at Laurentian University in Sudbury.
Plans are for the first class of medical students to start in September 2004.
Eves, who was joined in Thunder Bay by Tony Clement, minister of Health and Long-Term Care, as well as Jim Wilson, minister of Northern Development and Mines, also announced an increase of $29.15 million in capital funding for the new Thunder Bay Regional Hospital. This new funding is on top of the $98.5 million in capital funding that the Ontario government already committed to the hospital?s restructuring project in February 2000.
The additional money will assist Thunder Bay Regional Hospital in meeting the increased costs of its capital redevelopment project, which involves building a new 375-bed, acute-care hospital on a centrally located site. All acute-care hospital services will be consolidated on one new site, replacing two outdated facilities.
?Today is a historic step forward for health care in the north,? said Clement. ?Our government will continue to update and modernize our health system to ensure the best care for all.?