The Ontario government is investing $500,000 to help modernize the aging Wallaceburg hospital site.

The redevelopment to help patients and families in Chatham-Kent get the high-quality health care they need, closer to home, Infrastructure Minister Monte McNaughton announced Friday.

“Fourteen years ago when this hospital was at risk of being shut down, I was one of the many people who rallied in support,” said McNaughton, who made the announcement on behalf of Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

“Today I feel privileged to return and deliver a message on behalf of the Premier Doug Ford Government: We care about the people in Southwestern Ontario who rely on this hospital for urgent care.”

The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance is receiving a $500,000 planning grant to assist in early planning work for the Wallaceburg site.

The remodeled hospital will give patients faster access to a wide range of services including proposed upgrades to emergency, ambulatory and outpatient services.

“The people have told us that redeveloping the Wallaceburg site is a priority, and we are listening,” said McNaughton. “This planning grant will allow us to reimagine a new Wallaceburg hospital for the future. This is great news for people in rural Southwestern Ontario.”

Elliott said the planning grant is a “smart investment.”

“Our government is improving the patient experience by ensuring hospitals like this one in Wallaceburg get the upgrades, repairs and maintenance they need,” she said. “Proper planning is part of creating a sustainable health that is centred around patients.”

“The Wallaceburg Site of Chatham-Kent Health Alliance provides essential healthcare services for the communities of Wallaceburg, Walpole Island First Nation and surrounding areas,” said Lori Marshall, President & CEO, CKHA. “Today’s announcement builds on the momentum of our proposed redevelopment plans for the Wallaceburg site and reaffirms our commitment to rural healthcare now and into the future.”