County Council Considering Large Grants to Hospitals

On June 7, 2021 the two County Hospitals – Northumberland Hills Hospital (NHH) and Campbellford Memorial Hospital (CMH) – asked County Council to grant them $1M annually for 10 years.  It would be divided 75% to NHH and 25% to CMH.  A special meeting was convened on September 29 to discuss the request but County Council asked for more information.  The next step was that the Hospitals made a revised proposal on October 7 which changed the request to 1% of the County levy annually over an 8 year period.  This is estimated to be a minimum of $5.9M.  The money would be used for capital equipment and not for operations or interest.  There is no mandate from the Province to provide any funding to Hospitals but there are other municipalities that do.

The request to County Council is part of community fundraising campaigns for the two hospitals with a combined goal of $28 million over the next five years to meet immediate needs. The NHH Foundation has indicated that this is the largest fundraising campaign in the hospital’s history. They have approached the County to support these efforts.

At the Council meeting on October 20, the revised grant was considered but Council requested that staff provide financial modeling information to support a decision, and they will further consider this revised request at a special meeting on November 4, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.

One of the questions asked by Councillors was an assessment of the economic impact of community hospitals but there is little data showing any impact other than attracting residents to retirement communities.

Another request was to provide an indication of what the money would be spent on.  The only specific provided so far is that NHH wants an Epic System which is software to access, organize, store and share electronic medical records.

More details are available in a Staff Report provided by NHH – see links below.

Maybe it’s time for the Province to not only pay for operations, but also to pay for Capital items.

The obvious impact on local residents would be to increase County taxes by approx. 1%.

There is no survey on the County’s “Join-in Northumberland Page” – if you want to contact your County Councillor to communicate about this, go to the County Council information page in the links below. Cobourg’s “Councillor” is Mayor John Henderson. MPP David Piccini’s email.


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2 years ago

canadian government should just increase the GST by 1% and have that money go to healthcare across the country

2 years ago

This should not be a surprise. All hospital charity foundations everywhere use their charitable income mostly for salaries. The United Way is the same. Pigs feeding at the trough.

Pro tip: keep your money in your pocket and donate to those who need it like local groups like Cornerstone.

George Taylor
Reply to  Jeffy
2 years ago

i worked General Foods, Then Kraft General Foods-THEN KRAFT
i gave MONEY through payroll for close to 38 years to united way until i found OUT THAT ONLY 1/2 OF MY MONEY WAS GOING TO HELP PEOPE? THE REST IS WAGE’S 
NOW! any spare money goes to the Salvation Army or the Cobourg food bank (WHERE I KNOW IT IS SPENT REASPOSIBLY 

2 years ago

One of the questions asked by Councillors was an assessment of the economic impact of community hospitals but there is little data showing any impact other than attracting residents to retirement communities.”

Somebody missed the obvious one of having about 300? highly skilled and well paid people working at the hospital. You would soon find out the economic impact if the Provincial government ever decides to close community hospitals in favour of Regional Health Centres – none of which would be in Northumberland County!

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
2 years ago

Ben, I’m delighted to have medical services from hundreds of skilled professionals so near to home. It is vastly better than having to travel to Peterborough or Oshawa or elsewhere for treatment. We benefit immensely from NHH. The question should not be the economic impact but rather the impact on the health of Cobourg residents.

2 years ago

Seems to me that Government be it National, Provincial, County, City, or Town all want (are demanding) more than their fair share of the countries wealth, while the non-union wage earners tighten their belts more and more each year. Perhaps the hospital can deal and work with what they already have.

Ken Strauss
2 years ago

As part of approving/rejecting this request we should consider the financial details of the NHH Foundation. According to CRA filings ( the foundation spent $432,621.00 on compensation in 2020 (five staff at salaries in the range of $40K to $160K plus various consultants, memberships, training and other expenses). Their total expenses were $700,586.00. If Cobourg makes a large annual donation could the charity’s expenses be reduced to provide more funds for the hospital?

Last edited 2 years ago by Ken Strauss
Old Sailor
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 years ago

Wondering if there is a five year summary of donation funds raised by the foundation, expenses paid to raise those funds and the the current capital reserve cash balance in the foundation? Is there a costed out five year target of equipment the hospital wants/needs?

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Old Sailor
2 years ago

Sadly, the link that I posted earlier appears to expire after a few hours. Instead go to and search for Northumberland Hills Hospital Foundation. You will then get access to their publicly available financials since 2017. You probably want to pay most attention to Schedule 6 under “Full View”. By the way, information on other charities and the amounts that they spend to raise rather little money is equally enlightening!

Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 years ago


the link you posted should be used by all to make informed donations to charities.

Thank you for using it to shed some light behind the scenes.

Reply to  Old Sailor
2 years ago

Old Sailor;

Good questions!

I particularly like the one about the NHH’s 5 year equipment needs/wants.

It would also be useful to see in the business case:

  • Is the requested equipment a need or a want
  • what has been the utilization for the past 5 years
  • Is this a facility/service that the hospital should be providing because patients are currently transferred to other hospitals that have the facility.
  • If yes, why is transfer a bad thing
  • What is driving the demand/need/want.
  • Is current equipment fully utilized (3 shifts). For example, a cat scan that is only used on day shift because there are not enough cat scan techs on staff
  • Is the new equipment an addition to the hospital’s facilities or a replacement?
  • For new equipment, are additional staff required and has the hiring been funded? No point in having shiny new equipment and no staff to operate it.
  • What are the training costs and are these funded
Last edited 2 years ago by Bryan