Windsor-Essex is getting a new hospital.

The Ontario Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Eric Hoskins, announced Friday a new acute care facility for the region is moving forward.

The minister calls the announcement a “milestone in the development of a leading edge health care facility in the Windsor region.”

Infrastructure Ontario has been appointed to lead the procurement process for construction of the new hospital. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is scheduled to be issued in 2021, subject to change.

“I want to congratulate all the residents of Windsor-Essex on your new hospital and our government looks forward to working with you throughout the planning and construction process” said Hoskins.

The cost of the new hospital has been estimated at $2-billion.

Despite opposition, the hospital would be located at County Road 42 and the 9th concession, near the airport.

Hoskins says the new facility will serve more than 400,000 people in the region, providing advanced acute care services designed to meet the changing health care needs of local residents.

The Windsor Regional Hospital steering committee has agreed with MOHLTC to examine the use existing infrastructure on an interim basis.

“This means we will examine the ongoing use of the Ouellette campus, on an interim basis, for Urgent Care (satellite Emergency Department) and some Ambulatory (Day Surgery) procedures,” hospital officials said in a news release.

The plan to move Urgent Care to the former Grace campus is part of the Program and Services Steering Committee’s long term plan, as is the relocation of outpatient mental health and chronic disease management services to Ouellette campus.

Windsor Regional CEO David Musyj says an urgent care department will remain in the city’s core, but a decision has not been made about where it will be located.

“The key part is that urgent care will be up and running the day that the new acute is up and running,” says Musyj. “So we'll have two emergency departments, one called an urgent care satellite emergency either at Ouellette or Grace and the one at 42 and 9.”

Hoskins says the move of acute mental health beds to the Tayfour campus to create a regional centre of excellence for mental health wil also continue to be a part of the discussion.

Officials say the plan has evolved since the initial proposal. It is a complex plan with four components that need to be sequenced in implementation.

Construction of the acute care hospital is the component that the government has confirmed.

It is also a large transformation and requires a phased approach.

The hospital says it is no longer “if” there is a project it is “when.”

The Liberal government’s commitment to a new hospital in Windsor is part of the province’s $20-billion plan for hospital construction projects over the next ten years.