By Barb McKay
A proposal for Kincardine’s hospital redevelopment project has been revamped to be more economical and make better use of space in the hospital.
The revised proposal was approved by the South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC) board of directors last Wednesday and submitted to the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) Thursday. The first phase of Kincardine hospital project was approved by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in 2011, but cut from the provincial budget in March.
“There’s been no change to the master program, which means we’ll be offering the same services we’ve always had in Kincardine,” SBGHC CEO Paul Rosebush said in a telephone interview with The Independent.
Construction of the first phase of the Kincardine hospital redevelopment would include redeveloping the emergency department, expanding ambulatory care services, education and diagnostic imaging and creating a new plant and building services department. The original proposal using cost estimates from 2007 predicated that the first phase of the development would cost $43 million. The second phase, which included replacing the inpatient wing of the hospital, was expected to cost $56 million.
Rosebush said new calculations put phase one and two construction costs at $75 million.
“That is strictly for bricks and mortar,” Rosebush noted. “There are formula driven and ancillary costs that the Ministry expects to be built in.”
Those costs could range from $25 to $30 million, but that would be only if the SBGHC installed all new equipment, he said. The plan is to refurbish and improve much of the equipment that is already in place.
Revised design plans for the hospital structure reduce it in size by 13,000 square feet, compared to original design plans, but the there will be a net increase of 4,000 square feet from the current size, Rosebush said. He stressed that building costs for hospitals are exorbitant and SBGHC needed to look at ways to make the project more economical.
“There’s inefficient use of space in our current hospital,” Rosebush said, noting that updated plans for the hospital redevelopment project make use of all the space.
While inflation for hospital projects tend to be nine to 10 per cent per year, projected costs for the revised plan are only within a one per cent increase of the original cost.
“We’re very proud of that,” Rosebush said.
The Kincardine Community Hospital Foundation expects to raise at least $12 million for the project through fundraising and corporate donations.
“We’d like to acknowledge the work they are going to be doing for us,” Rosebush said.
He said he is optimistic the Kincardine hospital proposal will be approved by the South West LHIN at its October meeting. If it is accepted, it will be forwarded to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s capital planning branch for consideration.