New Prince Edward County Hospital Approved for Next Stage of Planning Process – Kingston
The Province of Ontario is giving the green light to Quinte Health Care (QHC) to move into the fourth stage of the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital (PECMH) redevelopment planning process.
“We are going to build a beautiful new county hospital that will be there to serve generations to come,” said QHC President and CEO Stacey Daub.
The Ontario government’s pre-election announcement means that detailed designs can now be prepared and documents can be finalized to secure construction bids.
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“Really exciting news. It’s taken years and years and years to get to this point,” said Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith.
“Moving to step four, which is really all about the nuts and bolts, and no turning back from there. We know we will have a new hospital here in Prince Edward County in the very near future.
The new hospital will have a 24-hour emergency department, 18 inpatient beds, an operating theater and a dialysis unit, among other specializations.
“That’s going to mean potentially, with a modern facility, we’ll be able to attract new family physicians and new health care staff to the area to work in a brand new facility,” Smith says.
“It will just be a much better environment and, of course, a lot more comfortable for those who have to stay in the hospital and go to the emergency room.”
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PECMH’s medical director, Dr. Sarah Leblanc, arrived in Prince Edward County 12 years ago as a medical student herself.
“I have decided to stay and establish my home here and my career here. I love Prince Edward County, it’s just a wonderful place to work,” says Leblanc. “We look forward to more physicians joining our team. Having this nice facility will only help to recruit new doctors.
Smith says Prince Edward County has one of the oldest populations in Ontario, which needs to be accommodated with the proper facilities.
“For a very long time we’ve been sitting in a pretty good position here with doctors and doctor-to-resident ratios, but now we’re getting to the point where a few have retired or moved from the area and we know that some are going to retire in a new future,” he says. “So we need to be able to attract new doctors and primary health care workers to the area.”
When the new hospital is built, the old hospital will collapse.
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“We really expect our community and our partners to probably build this space into a community space,” says Daub. “With gardens, opportunities for people. You know, hospitals are more than health care, they are really about the health of the community. And I would really like to see the future grounds be a gathering place for people to come and really bring health and wellness to our community.
Smith says this stage of the project typically lasts between 18 and 24 months, meaning construction could begin as early as spring 2024.
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