North East LHIN’s health system planning and funding functions are now part of Ontario Health, a government agency responsible for ensuring Ontarians continue to receive high-quality health care services where and when they need them.

Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF)

Hospitals are responsible for ensuring that their facilities are in a good state of repair by managing their capital assets and planning renewal activities.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (the ministry) established the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund (HIRF) in 1999 to assist hospitals in renewing their hospital facilities. The HIRF program was reformed in 2004 to streamline minor (less than $1 million) infrastructure renewal project approvals and to distribute infrastructure renewal funds annually to public hospitals. The HIRF grant is to be used to supplement a hospital’s renewal needs on a priority basis. The program changed in 2007 to reflect the ministry’s new stewardship role, and the establishment of Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs). LHINs advise on the HIRF allocation to hospitals and review and recommend HIRF projects in accordance with ministry guidelines.

The integration of HIRF with the Facility Condition Assessment Program (FCAP) help prioritize HIRF projects. The FCAP is extremely important in informing hospitals, Ontario Health and the ministry of the state of infrastructure at each hospital and across the Province. Integrating the FCAP into HIRF will assist in determining the highest priority infrastructure projects such that available financial resources may be directed towards these needs. As such, the HIRF allocation methodology has changed to reflect the results of FCAP.

Upon a hospital’s receipt of notification from the ministry informing the hospital of its approved HIRF grant, each hospital must complete and submit to its region, the HIRF Submission Form. The HIRF Submission Form describes the project(s) for which the hospital is requesting Ontario Health recommendation to undertake with its approved HIRF grant. Ontario Health will review the HIRF Submission Form against program eligibility criteria, and then recommends the Hospital’s project(s) to the Ministry. Once the project(s) are recommended, the Hospital will send a signed copy of the HIRF agreement to the ministry. Upon ministry receipt of the recommended HIRF Submission Form and the ministry signing the HIRF Agreement, the approved HIRF grant will be released to the hospital.

Upon a hospital’s completion of all of its HIRF projects approved for a given year, the hospital is required to submit to the ministry the HIRF Settlement Report. This report includes an external Auditor’s statement attesting to the HIRF funds received and disbursed in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The hospital is also asked to submit a copy of the original HIRF Submission Form in which the project(s) completed were approved to be undertaken.

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