Healthcare tour: Future of Windsor-Essex hospitals system explained
Published Thursday, July 16, 2015 10:35AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 16, 2015 5:12PM EDT
A new healthcare system for Windsor-Essex was officially unveiled Thursday, including potential site plans for new facilities and future plans for existing ones.
It's not just a mega hospital, it's a mega system overhaul and it starts on Windsor farmland at the corner of County Road 42 and Consession 9.
“This is the proposed home for a new 1.6 million square foot, 10-storey state-of-the-art acute care hospital," says David Musyj, Windsor Regional Hospital CEO.
The plan calls for a 500-bed acute care facility for both the city and county.
“This is major, this is a big deal, and this is something really positive for the community," says Widnsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.
Musyj says it will include everything currently offered at Windsor Regional's Met Campus and Ouellette Campus, plus 30 per cent more space, under one roof.
The greenfield site was chosen largely because of high rates of accessibility for patients and doctors, but it's only one part of the overall plan.
“One hospital isn't enough,” says Gary Switzer, co-chair of the program and services steering committee. “For one site to be successful, we need quite a few of our partners to be successful."
One of those new partners could be at the former Grace Hospital site on the city's west end.
“It's a walk-in clinic on steroids," says Musyj.
The urgent care centre model hopes to reduce wait times, and provide an alternative site for patients with less serious injuries.
It also breathes life into a neighbourhood saddled by urban blight for more than a decade.
“This is a significant investment on a storied site, and you can't find a better site to recognize the years the Salvation Army provided healthcare on this site."
If, and when the new acute and urgent centres are built, the Metropolitan Campus will close, and get levelled.
The land will go to the city for future re-development.
“We want to make sure any development on this land conforms with the unique characteristics that are already here,” says Dilkens. “And that will be first and foremost on my mind and that of city council when the land is actually transferred to the city."
As for Windsor Regional's Ouellette Campus, it will also meet the wrecking ball, but will be re-developed as a post-acute mental health facility and will once again bear the name Hotel-Dieu Grace.
Windsor's Tayfour Campus would continue to offer and in fact extend its core mental health and addiction service with 60 new program beds as well as renal dialysis and diagnostic services.
Leamington District Memorial Hospital will also stay open and continue to offer its core services.
The whole proposal comes with a $2-billion price tag. About 90 per cent of that will be paid by the province, 10 percent will be divided between the city and the county.
Both Dilkens and County warden Tom Bain say a tax levy will be modest and spread out.
“We need to make sure we stand united in this cause, as a city as a county," says Bain.
This step is technically still early in the process of a new healthcare system, but Musyj says it's a critical one.
This is just a plan, a proposal that's now before the Ministry of Health.
They've been reviewing it for close to a month.
Musyj says that will be a lengthy process, we likely won't hear if it gets approved until sometime in 2016.
If that happens, Musyj says it will still be four to seven more years before shovels hit the ground.
The acute care hospital and others in the system could open as early as 2022.
CTV reporter Rich Garton was on the media tour.