By Barb McKay
Kincardine’s hospital redevelopment project is still viable, according to the head of the region’s health centre.
While Kincardine mayor Larry Kraemer said a recent meeting with
Rosebush, who took the helm at the health centre last week, told The Independent that he had a phone call Friday morning with the Ontario Ministry of Health’s capital planning branch and advised them that the SBGHC would be resubmitting the proposal for the Kincardine hospital.
“They are looking forward to receiving that and will consider it as soon as it’s in their hands,” he said.
Rosebush said resubmitting the proposal is dependent on receiving approval from the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), but he’s confident the response will be positive.
“We are expecting full LHIN support,” he said.
During last Wednesday’s council meeting, Kraemer said that a brief meeting with Ontario Health Minister Deb Matthews at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) conference in Ottawa last month left him very discouraged about the future of the hospital project. He said that he was told the project was off both the province’s five-year and 10-year capital planning lists and that a new proposal would need to be submitted in 2013.
“We’ll be starting from scratch,” he said.
Kraemer also asked if the first phase of the redevelopment could be completed in stages as funds became available and was told that was not an option.
The first phase redevelopment project, which would include connecting the hospital to the family health team clinic, redeveloping the emergency department, expanding ambulatory care services, education and diagnostic imaging and creating a new plant and building services department, was granted government approval in August 2011, but dropped from the 2012 provincial budget. Based on 2007 calculations, that portion of the project would cost $43 million. The Kincardine Community Hospital Foundation had already raised $3.9 million for design work for the redevelopment and the
In July, the SBGHC board of directors held a meeting with representatives from the South West LHIN to look at statistical data for the project, then hired consulting firm Agnew Peckham to review the data to determine if changes needed to be made to the proposal before it was submitted for re-approval. The proposal is expected to be sent to the LHIN in October and, if approved, sent on to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s capital planning branch.
Kincardine hospital foundation chair Jack Nancekivell said he was surprised by the Minister’s response at AMO.
“We were led to believe that when we submitted in October we would be treated favourably by the government,” he said.
Nancekivell said the boilers in the hospital are on their last legs and other areas of the building are showing their age.
“The building is showing strong signs of deterioration,” he said. “We all know the dire need for a new hospital.”
Nancekivell said the health centre board is putting a great deal of work into updating its proposal for the hospital redevelopment project and has been optimistic that it would be well-received.
“It has verbally had strong support from the LHIN,” he said.
Rosebush said he is not disheartened by Kraemer’s report from AMO.
“We’re not as discouraged here,” he said. “South Bruce Grey Health Centre is commiteed to moving forward with a new application and very shortly we’ll be resubmitting that plan.”