Watching the story unfold of the plan to end the life of Windsor’s last two acute care hospitals in favour of a replacement Mega Hospital in a bean field, south of the airport, is a bit like watching Alice fall down the rabbit hole. At the bottom she finds a hall with many doors. As more doors are opened in the illogic of the Mega Hospital location, the incongruity of the plan is revealed for all it is; a mistake of grand proportions.
Not only will the largest urban conglomerate between the end of Ontario and London lose two hospitals in its most densely populated areas, the new building will become a facility serving an area equal to the size of Cape Breton, if not larger.
In January’s Biz X magazine, hospital magnate David Musyj claimed the new hospital will not only have to, “take care of residents from Windsor and Essex (County), but the entire LHIN – from Sarnia, from Chatham – all the way from London down.”
While Musyj makes a good point about this extended size making it economically possible for the hospital to provide services not normally available in a small city, he does not explain why he would consider building his new facility in the middle of nowhere.
If Musyj is right, and few doubt him, those who use the hospital, whether from west of London or Sarnia or points in-between, will probably need a host of services, including hotels, restaurants, dry cleaners, and sundry.
None exist in the bean field location he covets.
Building a hospital a far distance from a developed area of the city, with all needed amenities, will be of considerable consequence to the relatives and loved ones of the hospital’s patients. Will a whole new city actually grow up around the hospital replicating everything that already exists?
If it does, something will have to give.
With no new economic development proposed for the region, something it hasn’t had for almost the better part of a decade, there would not be much of an economic driver to add new capacity in the hotel and hospitality industry without cannibalizing what currently exists, leaving empty hulks in its wake.
This wholesale and costly relocation of a considerable chunk of the city would both promote urban sprawl and leave a hollowed out downtown.
Is this really what the city needs?