Petition to build new acute care hospital downtown Windsor
Published Tuesday, April 21, 2015 5:00PM EDT
Windsor Regional Hospital is about three months away from announcing where a new single-site acute care hospital will be built, but a concerned group of citizens is urging the selection subcommittee to locate the facility downtown.
Citizens for an Accountable Megahospital Planning Process has set up an online petition requesting the site selection subcommittee built the hospital in Windsor's city centre. The number of sites the subcommittee is considering is less than five.
The petition had almost 400 supporters by Tuesday afternoon.
Shane Mitchell, with CAMPP, says they should not only focus on healthcare, but also on economic growth.
"In order to spur change in this downtown to bring people back to living gin the city centre, we really need businesses, institutions, schools, hospitals everything," says Mitchell.
But many people, like Tecumseh mayor Gary McNamara say building the hospital in Windsor's core isn't practical.
“If you see the issues with our downtown hospitals now, it's parking,” says McNamara. “Parking is the biggest issue and accessibility is another issue."
The estimated $1.5 billion mega hospital is currently in phase two, which involves soil testing and pricing.
"That hospital is going to be built for the next 50, 75, 100 years,” says McNamara. “Look at where the growth of the region is expanding there's 180,000 in the county 220,000 in the city."’
Hosptial CEO David Musyj says there's no doubt the project will bring in money, but it's not their main priority.
“First and foremost, the location of the hospital should be to take care of our patients,” says Musyj. “Economic growth is a bi-product of that, but if we build a hospital based on economic growth and not focusing on the patients we serve then we've done something wrong."
In response to the petition, Musyj says not everyone will be happy with where the hospital will be built, but he's glad the issue is on people's minds.
"It's great that groups are talking about it,” sayd Musyj. “Yes everyone has an opinion, but it's great people are talking about the concept and the fact that we need a hospital."