Feedback received from the community about where the new Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital should be located was overwhelmingly in favour of the existing site.
Community engagement efforts were held in May and included in-depth discussions with a focus group consisting of 35 community leaders, health care partners, and staff and physicians. A month-long survey was open to all community members in May — netting 339 responses. A community open house provided the opportunity for any community member to ask questions, share feedback and complete the survey; approximately 120 attended.
“PEC residents have always been greater supporters of their local hospital, so we were not surprised by the excellent community participation in this decision-making process,” said Susan Rowe, QHC Senior Director. “While most people tend to prefer the existing hospital site, we also heard loud and clear that the number one priority is to see a new PECMH built, regardless of exactly where it is located.”
The most common reasons for supporting the existing site:
- The proximity to the family health team and other services,
- Closer for walking to the hospital and a less expensive taxi ride
- Easier to find and easier to see from the main road
- Familiarity with existing site
- Closer for emergency services
The minority supporting the greenfield site by the H.J. McFarland Memorial Home saw the benefits of the idyllic setting– close to nature and less road traffic. They also felt it was easier for construction and would have less impact on the existing hospital during construction.
Concerns about both sites were expressed. Some felt the existing site offered less room for parking and future expansion, and expressed concern about the disruption on hospital operations during the construction. Concerns with the greenfield site included the distance, harder for people to find, and the single access road.
The project steering committee are taking a wide range of factors into consideration, including input from 450 residents as part of the community engagement process, and will present the findings to the QHC Board at the June 27th meeting. If approved, the QHC Board will recommend the existing site to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care as part of the ‘stage 1b’ submission—which is the next step of the capital planning approval process.
Manager, Communications & Community Relations
Quinte Health Care
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