PICTON – The Ontario government affirmed its support for a new Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital today by announcing Quinte Health Care (QHC) is approved to move into the next phase of development.
Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte and Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, confirmed that Minister of Health Christine Elliott has approved the hospital corporation’s Stage2: Functional Program Submission and allowed it to proceed to Stage 3.1 Block Schematic Report.
Smith said the approval would allow QHC to begin detailed planning and design work for a new hospital, which includes 18 in-patient beds (with space for five additional beds), a 24-7 emergency department, diagnostic imaging, a surgical suite, dialysis and ambulatory care. The new building would be located on the existing hospital site, west of the current facility.
“Our government recognizes the need to build a modern, full-service hospital for Prince Edward County and we are satisfied by the extensive planning done by Quinte Health Care and the enthusiasm from the community to back the build,” said Smith. “Today’s approval to begin detailed design work offers terrific momentum to push this project forward toward breaking ground.”
Brad Harrington, QHC’s Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer welcomed news of the milestone.
“Building a new Quinte Health Care Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital represents an outstanding collaborative effort reinforced by the unwavering support of this community. Our planning team, comprised of staff, physicians, and community partners, are extremely grateful that the Province has given us the green light to move forward,” said Harrington.
Harrington said the next phase of redevelopment would allow QHC to examine the layout of the facility closely, considering the overall layout, where rooms will be located, and the functionality of each space.
“Our team is eager to get to work as we take a momentous step toward building a new hospital to serve the residents of Prince Edward County today and into the future.”
Barbara McConnell, the Chair of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation said the approval “gives us confidence that we will have our new hospital in the county.”
McConnell described the build as the biggest project her community has ever taken and she expressed gratitude to the many contributors who brought the redevelopment to its current stage.
“We would not be here today celebrating this good news without the help of so many essential partners: QHC’s leadership team, Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith, the County of Prince Edward, the Prince Edward Family Health Team, the PECMH Auxiliary, our campaign cabinet, our foundation’s board of directors and staff, and most importantly, our donors,” McConnell said. “Every day, we see the powerful ways that our donors have an immediate and lasting effect on the way our community hospital delivers health care.”
According to McConnell, the PECMHF has raised over $11.3 million in pledges toward the community’s $16.5-million goal. She encouraged those who have pledged or who will pledge to donate.
“As you can see, we have a lot of work ahead before our hospital is in place, and with this news, we are eager to get started.”
Smith said the Province has demonstrated it is eager to support QHC services in Prince Edward County and at all of its sites, reiterating that Ontario has committed to stabilized annual funding for the multi-site hospital, including a 6.1-per-cent increase in base funding for 2020-2021.
“We will take every measure to ensure Ontario residents – including those in rural communities like Prince Edward County - receive the health-care services they need to stay safe and well,” he said. “This year alone, we’ve invested $3.3 billion more in health sector. Beyond that, our 10-year capital plan envisions $17 billion in investments to build new, state-of-the-art hospital capacity, including important projects like this one that means so much to our community.”