The Collingwood General & Marine Hospital (G&M) should remain in the centre of town, in its current location, for the convenience of patients, families, staff and volunteers, and the health of the town’s economy. The current location is close to doctors’ offices, retirement and nursing homes and commercial services.
Citizens for Collingwood Hospital Development do not want a new facility built on the edge of town.
The best solution is to build a new hospital on the existing site owned by the Hospital Board – preferably with the purchase of abutting land on Hume Street, but not necessarily – then either demolish the old hospital or use it for offices serving the new hospital.
The large consulting firm, Stantec, has suggested that G&M should move to a 30-acre site outside town on Poplar Sideroad. The hospital owns 12 acres where it is. Even a larger health facility, as suggested by Stantec, can be housed in a three-storey structure on the current site.
A larger site is not necessary. To build on Poplar Sideroad would cost more than expanding on the current site and it would be inconvenient for the majority of people using G&M. In 2015, Hume Street was upgraded to accommodate the hospital. A site on the edge of town on Poplar Sideroad would require that the municipality and its local property taxpayers carry the cost of substantially improving existing roads, sewers and water services.
Stantec recommends, and the hospital board seems to agree, that the hospital should double in size, from 73 to 152 beds.
Do we really need a gigantic hospital like those in Barrie or Owen Sound? NO! The Ministry of Health has a mandate to “Continue to expand home and community care to ensure that people receive care as close to home as possible,” but it has funded many large new hospitals on the edge of communities.
Spending a lot of money on bricks and mortar means less money for nurses, orderlies, doctors, cleaners and other staff. The current funding formula of the province has been stressful for Collingwood and other smaller hospitals. A new formula is needed that puts more money into staffing and less into large new buildings.
The G&M board has submitted an application to the Ontario Ministry of Health for a new and larger hospital. The board has apparently decided the new hospital should be on Poplar Sideroad, but as of late March 2017 it has not submitted the necessary planning applications needed to permit a hospital to be located on these lands, now designated for industry.
Area residents must take action soon to ensure the hospital board does not recommend tearing down the current hospital to build a large one on Poplar Sideroad, the edge of town.
At the same time, we must address the cost of operating the hospital, to ensure there is adequate staffing for good health care.
We urge you to support the Collingwood Town councillors who want the new hospital to be built on the current site.
Write Mayor Sandra Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org and express your support for keeping the G&M where it is.
Copy your letter to CitizensForCollingwoodHospital@gmail.com and we will keep you informed on the issue.
Our Steering Committee includes:
Bruce Clark, Karina Dahlin, Rob Mooy, Brian O’Donnell, Ian Royce, John Sewell, and Ava Zaritzky.