The Ontario government is pledging $9.8 million toward the new Windsor-Essex mega hospital in its 2021-2022 budget. This money will support the ongoing planning of a new regional hospital in Windsor-Essex and will bring together acute care services into one location.
Windsor CTV News stated that by continuing to invest in health infrastructure and expansion, patients will be able to rely on high levels of care in their communities.
Windsor Regional Hospital took ownership of a 60 acre property for the proposed new regional cute care hospital in October of 2020 more than five years after the site was chosen.
"Premier Ford told us last August that he would go in there...like an 800 pound gorilla to fight tooth and nail for a new hospital for our community. The Premier kept his promise - and in doing so has made an unprecedented health care infrastructure commitment to this community that will benefit generations to come."
WRH President and CEO | David Musyj
The funding will allow the hospital to move into Stage 2 of the five-stage capital planning process which includes the development of a Functional Program to offer a detailed description of how the new system will operate.
The program will include a look at staffing, space and equipment needs with a focus on workflow for patients.
The current pandemic has brought out the inadequacy of the current hospital facilities which include:
- A lack of private rooms
- Poor ventilation that risks transmission
- No ability to segregate areas of the current hospital facilities to keep infected patients isolated
The location of the site for the mega hospital is at the corner of County Road 42 and the 9th Concession.
"The project is now real, it moves from if it gets built to when it gets built. This functional design phase will take 18 to 24 months. We will spend $10 million laying out the hospital, it will involve a great amount of public consultation to get the project over the finish line and make sure that we deliver a hospital the entire community can be proud of."
Windsor Mayor | Drew Dilkens
A news release from the County of Essex stated it had passed three motions related to the need for a hospital with each of the county's seven municipalities affirming their support along with the city.
The county's 2021 budget put $5.8 million in a hospital reserve, bringing the total to nearly $25 million according to the news release.
The new hospital project will also help to strengthen the regional economy and generate more than 14,000 jobs over its lifetime and more than $68 million in municipal taxes across the region.
Gary McNamara, Essex County Warden, states that this project will provide for significant economic growth and diversification. He added that it will attract to Windsor-Essex the best and brightest in the world of medicine and health care and will attract more people and more families, fueling increased residential and commercial growth.
According to the Windsor Star, the announcement for Windsor was part of a $30 billion basket of approvals for hospital building, expansion or improvements across the province.
Members of the public who have an interest in a particular area - the cancer program, for example - will be asked to participate in its design.
Musyj said his hospital's experience during the pandemic may well shape how the new hospital is going to be designed. Any early expectation that it would have 80 percent private rooms, for example, might be changed to 100 percent private.
The existing facilities are very old. This is the second pandemic for at least some portions of the hospital, where people were treated during the 1918 Spanish Flu.
Musyj stated that the sooner the functional program can be completed, the sooner the hospital can be built, which is desperately needed for our community. Stage 3 involves preliminary design, followed by the bidding process in Stage 4 and construction in Stage 5.
Posted by Judy Lamelza