By Doug Charles
If the new hospital proposal included the equivalent of a Leamington-type hospital in the heart of Windsor’s downtown, I’d have few concerns; except, of course, that the downtown hospital would be overwhelmed by popularity while the mega-hospital would be under-utilized, perhaps near vacant.
In 2010, the Ontario Medical Association noted that the regionalization of hospital services, “… is being defined in different ways in different communities and contexts.” That is, there is no rhyme or reason to hospitals being built or closed.
Here are a few inconsistencies.
- Fergus, ON, is having their new hospital placed outside of town to serve 34,500 people 21.2km or 22 minutes from Guelph General Hospital while Welland is fighting to save their hospital to serve 90,000 people 27km or 24 minutes away from the nearest hospital.
- Residents in the Niagara Region are rightfully upset that the plan is to close five hospitals and leave them with only two regional hospitals to serve about 300,000. The Windsor-Essex plan is one regional hospital and one rural hospital for about 400,000.
- Collingwood has plans to build a 150 bed hospital for $350 million while Windsor will build a couple of satellite services for $300 million.
The proposed Urgent Care Centre is almost 20km, and 20 minutes, away from the hospital site serving 45,000 people in Wards 2 and 3 alone. Consistent provincial planning would suggest a rural sized hospital built near the Urgent Care site, instead, at the very least. It would be at a cost comparable to the proposed satellite facilities.
If the 75,000 Essex County residents outside the Windsor CMA deserve a choice of two hospitals, Windsor or Leamington, Windsor residents should have the same choice within reasonable proximity.
Removing hospitals from the heart of Windsor and leaving fragments behind as satellite facilities is just wrong.