New Kincardine hospital plan to cost $22.5 million


By Barb McKay


A new plan to improve the Kincardine hospital is expected to cost $22.5 million, significantly less than the original redevelopment proposal.


South Bruce Grey Health Centre (SBGHC) president and CEO Paul Rosebush told The Independent on Thursday that he is happy with the figure.


“We’re excited by that price point,” he said. “We feel we have a project that is achievable.”


The new design proposal includes a new emergency department at the front of the hospital building. The former ER would be retrofitted for a new laboratory, ambulatory care unit and updated diagnostic imaging department.


The original Kincardine hospital redevelopment plan, dropped from the province’s 2012 budget, was expected to cost $105 million. In today’s economy, Rosebush said, that would have been difficult to achieve.


“We didn’t want to wait on it for an overly long time,” he said. “We want to move ahead with something that needs to be done now. Anyone who has been to our hospital knows that it is tired and aging.”


Rosebush said the SBGHC is working with the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) about submitting the plan to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, as a new proposal or an addendum to the previous submission. Action can’t be taken until the government starts up again July 2.


In related news, the SBGHC held its annual meeting in Durham last Wednesday evening and Rosebush said the board had plenty to celebrate, including ending the year with a small surplus of $50,000.


The health centre has gone completely smoke-free and has introduced a new meal service for patients. Rosebush said the SBGHC received very positive accreditation results last year and also high performance marks for patient care at all its sites from National Research Corporation Canada.


“We’re very pleased with all of those results,” he said.


Going forward, Rosebush said the SBGHC will work on sustainability at all four hospital sites without impacts to services in order to provide the best patient care.


The health centre board appointed two new trustees – Steven Townsend of Durham and Leslie Hastie of Chesley. Chris Unruh of Chesley has left the board to establish a new medical practice.