Hydro Bill At Windsor Regional Hospital Soars 49%

The rising cost of electricity is having an impact on hospitals across Ontario, including Windsor Regional Hospital.

According to the NDP, the hydro bill at Windsor Regional Hospital has increased 49% in the past five years.

The NDP cites data received from a Freedom of Information request that shows double digit increases in hydro bills for Windsor Regional.

According to the documents, the hydro bill for Windsor Regional has climbed from nearly $1.8-million in 2011 to more than $2.6 million in 2016.

Windsor Regional Hospital's Director of Corporate Services and Capital Planning Kevin Marshall says the hospital is about conservation but there is only so much the hospital can do when buildings are 45 to 55 years old.

"It takes money away from direct patient care," says Marshall. "We are doing everything we can, all our lights are replaced with L.E.D and windows have been replaced."

He says new hospitals have more square footage but are using less energy.

Marshall says the problem is the building itself with the old bricks and roof.

The New Democrats argue the rise in energy costs is occurring at the same time the Liberal government is underfunding health care, and putting even more pressure on patient care.

“Health care is at a tipping point in Ontario," said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. "There have already been frontline workers laid off at many hospitals, and with skyrocketing hydro bills, hospitals are being squeezed tighter. Now, Wynne’s government has admitted that hospitals will see almost no relief from skyrocketing hydro costs under the premier’s scheme.”

“Health care workers are doing the best they can, but they're being asked to do more with less by Premier Kathleen Wynne and her Liberal government," said Horwath.  “Wait times are already too long. Staff are already run off their feet. These hydro bills are part of the problem, pushing hospitals to the breaking point. The Liberal approach will do nothing to help our hospitals.”