Quinte Healthcare says it is continuing its efforts to advocate to the provincial government for the approval of the pre-capital submission for a new Prince Edward County hospital.
On Friday, Brad Harrington, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at QHC brought the Prince Edward Memorial Hospital Foundation up to speed on plans for a new hospital that now carries a price tag of $80 million. If approved, he said the majority will be funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, with community expected to kick in $14 million to $18 million. Fundraising efforts have been underway for a number of years now with The Prince Edward Auxiliary already committed to $1 million.
The pre-capital plan before the Ministry is the first step in the five phase process. It gives a 20-year outlook for all hospitals under the QHC umbrella. It also includes what services should be provided in the hospital, the structure required to maintain those services and a preferred site location. The business case proposes a new or renovated hospital with the existing services: inpatient beds, 24-hour emergency care, x-ray and endoscopy services.
Harrington said they are waiting for the Ministry to respond to the pre-capital plan, which may happen by the end of 2016. Next steps look at preferred site options.
The County of Prince Edward’s preferred location is where the development of the Wellings of Picton project is taking place behind the HJ McFarland Memorial Home, that could include the hospital, nursing homes, medical clinic with space for the family health team and many other amenities.
In his August visit to the County, the Minister of Health and Long Term Care Dr. Eric Hoskins said the County has a tremendous opportunity for a health hub.
At the Friday meeting, POOCH (Patron of Our Community Hospital) member Dave Gray pointed to the overflowing of compassion shown by the community for the hospital and its services. He said he would like to see the public included in decision making going forward and whether or not they want a new hospital.
Harrington said they will reflect on that, adding community engagement is important going forward.
New PEMHF board chair Monica Alyea encouraged everyone to push the need for the hospital in their everyday conversations.
Harrington agreed with Alyea that the community needs to be on the same page about the build and preferred location as it sends a strong message to the government. He said the government tends to get anxious when they are hearing differing opinions. He also pointed to the significant pressures for new builds across the province. He said there are more pressures than available resources.