A total of $3 billion would be required to update existing facilities and replace the aging Civic Hospital.
"We need to convince the Ministry of Health that the best thing for the citizens of Ottawa is not to try to renovate a 100-year-old building," he said in an interview with OBJ, referring to the current location on Carling Avenue. "It's been renovated and refurbished over the last 50 years. It's not really a good investment to try to patch it up more."
Ideally, funding for the new hospital would be split between the provincial government and the City of Ottawa.
The best location for the new campus would be across the street from the existing facility onto the Central Experimental Farm where a helicopter pad already exists, Dr. Kitts said, but could be placed somewhere else in the southwest corridor of Ottawa.
A new state-of-the-art facility would assist the Ottawa Hospital with its goal to eventually rank in the top 10 percentile of hospitals in North America in terms of quality and safe patient care. No such ranking yet exists - existing ranking systems are mainly based on wait times or research dollars - but as more robust data becomes available, Dr. Kitts said such rankings will be implemented in the near future.
The hospital made the news last month after announcing that 96 jobs would be cut in order to balance its budget which had been overshot by $23-million.
Despite restricted funds, the hospital's focus on talent, technology and research will help to improve efficiency and cut costs, Dr. Kitts said.
Cataract treatment, for example, used to involve open-eye surgery that took two to three hours. Today, a needle sucks out the cataract after breaking it up with ultrasound waves, and the procedure is over in 10 minutes. About 25 surgeries can be done per day; a boon as an aging population requires more of these treatments.
Innovations such as the CyberKnife (a high-dose radiation treatment with pinpoint accuracy that can treat previously inoperable tumours), leading stem cell research discovering ways to grow and re-grow organs, and clinical trials using cancer-fighting viruses led by Dr. John Bell all serve to place Ottawa on the world stage for healthcare.
"The whole world is watching and hoping," Dr. Kitts said of the city's innovative research. "All of this is happening right here in your hospital and your city."
The Ottawa Hospital is the largest in the country, serving 1.2 million residents a year and employing 12,000 staff members. Its $1.2 billion annual operating budget services 1,200 beds, 130,000 emergency room visits, 60,000 surgical procedures and 800,000 clinic appointments each year.
Since 2002, the hospital has spent about $1 billion on infrastructure, equipment and research, $300 million of which came from community donations; the rest from the provincial government.