By Barb McKay
The fate of the Kincardine hospital redevelopment project could be determined as early as next month.
South Bruce Grey Health Centre CEO Paul Rosebush told The Independent Monday that the Kincardine hospital project proposal is with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s capital planning branch and a decision is expected to be handed down by the end of April.
“The (South West) LHIN (Local Health Integration Network) has agreed to support our decision and they’ll send a letter of endorsement,” Rosebush said.
He noted that recent conversations with Ministry officials went well and the SBGHC will not have to take the project back to square one.
“The good thing is that our project has not been bumped back to the capital planning stage,” he said. “It’s a bonafide proposal.”
The first phase of the hospital project had been approved by the Ministry in 2011, but was unceremoniously cut from the 2012 provincial budget. The SBGHC tweaked its proposal to make it more economical. The revised proposal calls for the refurbishment of some equipment, rather than purchasing new. Design plans were also altered to scale the structure down by 13,000 square feet.
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. However, new calculations put construction costs for both phase one and two at approximately $75 million.
Fundraising efforts by the Kincardine Community Health Care Foundation have been underway for some time now and the
Rosebush said he remains optimistic about the outcome, stating that the SBGHC made a good case for the project.