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Update | Sept. 16, 2016

Collingwood Council has taken a sideways step on a new hospital facility, even though the comparison we have done of the existing site and the Poplar Sideroad site shows a strong preference for the existing site for a new hospital facility.

 

On September 12 Council passed the following motion unanimously, and without debate:

 

“Be it resolved that the Council of the corporation of the Town of Collingwood herein support the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital Board Trustees decision to submit its Stage 1A Master Plan and Stage 1B Master Plan on September 30, 2016 to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, which includes both their preferred site and other viable options;

And further that Collingwood Council is committed to ensuring a future with excellent healthcare for the region, which also includes the Township of Clearview, Town of Blue Mountains and the Town of Wasaga Beach.”

Our group, Hospital4Collingwood had asked to speak at the Council meeting, but were not permitted to do so.

Councillors Brian Saunderson and Deb Doherty have both told us that the council motion does not agree on a site – it just agrees on the Board submitting the application to the Ministry of Health since the Board has been told by Ministry of Health officials that other municipalities (particularly Alliston) would like a new facility which means there is competition for money.

Collingwood Council decided in late August to do a peer review of the Hospital Board information, but the Board has not agreed. Instead, the Board will provide certain information to the consultant (the large accounting firm Deloitte) retained by the town who will look at everything, then advise the town about the costs it would have to bear. When the consultant’s report is in, discussions with the Board will resume.

 

Here is our comparison of the two sites, which we have forwarded to Council.

This comparison assumes that on the existing site 200,000 square feet of new clinical space would be constructed – in one scenario on land now controlled by the hospital, in another by purchasing a small adjacent parcel of land – and the existing structure would be renovated for offices and other non-clinic functions; alternatively a new facility of 350,000 square feet would be built on Poplar Sideroad with the existing hospital structure being demolished by the town.

The Hospital Board had suggested that a new hospital had to be no more than a basement and two stories, but the latest hospital proposal states that the number of stories is subject to design and it could be three or four stories. Since the two proposals for the existing site are three and four stories respectably (as can be seen on this web site) , there is no difference between the two sites in the number of stories and that has not been included in the comparison.

 

Existing   Poplar
Conforms to provincial planning policy Yes No
Within Primary Settlement Area  Yes  Yes
Good, timely, emergency access  Yes  Yes
Good access for all patients  Yes  Yes
Proximity to most patients and family  Yes No
Proximity to existing health services  Yes No
Proximity to retirement homes  Yes No
Supports town’s economic centre  Yes No
Views of natural landscape for patients  Yes  Yes
Negative impact on existing residences No No
Cost of land purchase  Perhaps  Yes
Construction costs Lower  Much Higher
Cost to municipality  Lower  Much Higher

                     

It remains unclear to us why the Hospital Board would decide on the Poplar SideRoad site which is much inferior to, and much more costly than, building a new clinical facility on the existing site. What does the Board know that we don’t know??