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$9.8 Million Announced For Windsor Essex Mega Hospital Planning

Wednesday March 24th, 2021, 4:51pm

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Artist rendering of the new hospital

The government of Ontario’s 2021 budget includes funding to help plan for Windsor’s new mega hospital.

The budget, announced Wednesday afternoon by Ontario finance minister Peter Bethlenfalvy, includes $9.8 million in funding to cover “Stage 2” planning costs for the development of a new state-of-the-art acute care hospital to serve Windsor and Essex County.

The provincial budget detail shows the funding will be used for “ongoing planning of a new regional hospital in Windsor‐Essex which will bring together acute care services in one location” to “consolidate acute care services, while retaining the existing Ouellette site for urgent care and ambulatory services.”

The new hospital’s timeline consists of five stages including the already-completed Stage 1 Master Plan. The hospital says the new funding will help the project with Stage 2 Functional Program planning.

That phase includes planning the programs to be delivered at the new hospital, the workload associated with the programs, and staffing, equipment, and space requirement planning.

“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,” says Windsor Regional Hospital President and CEO David Musyj. “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.”

The hospital says the previous provincial government announced in spring 2017 its intention to move the project to Stage 2, but the funding was not committed. They say local supporters have continued to press the new government for its support, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Windsor Regional says a lack of private rooms to prevent infection spread, poor ventilation that risks transmission, and an ability to segregate areas of the facility were all challenges faced by the hospital since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The hard work is just beginning,” Musyj says “We look forward to getting going on our stage 2 development and moving ever closer to the first shovel digging into the ground at our new hospital site on Highway 42 in the near future.”

Stage 2 is expected to take two years to complete.

Photo from Windsor Regional Hospital

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