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2019 in review: Hospital still waiting for province on redevelopment application

The Collingwood hospital redevelopment was included in the 2019 budget released by the province, but hospital staff continue to wait for approval of the first phase of submissions
Collingwood General and Marine Hospital. Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

The work toward getting a new hospital in Collingwood continued in 2019 with a resubmission of the first phase of a five-phase process with the provincial government.

Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH) received a grant up to $500,000 in 2018 from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to help with the redevelopment planning and application process.

Around the same time, the hospital received feedback on its stage 1 submission, originally submitted to the province in 2016. And began working on an updated version to address requests for key information and formatting.

In April 2019, the province released its budget announcing it would be supporting redevelopment applications by CGMH and Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston, effectively putting Collingwood’s hospital ‘on the list.’

CGMH submitted a revised phase one plan in the same month.

“At this time, we continue to wait for approval on our stage one submission, prior to moving to stage two of the five-stage process,” said Lisa van Kolfschoten, communications officer for CGMH, just before Christmas. “We look forward to sharing more as we officially receive the stage one approval.”

MPP Jim Wilson has, on two occasions, invited Christine Elliott, minister of health and long-term care, to Collingwood and Alliston to visit the hospitals. Both times she agreed to the invitation during question period.

No such visit has yet been scheduled, and the minister’s office provided no updates on the CGMH redevelopment application.

“The ministry has been working closely with Collingwood General Marine Hospital to review the options outlined in its stage one proposal,” said a statement from Elliott’s office emailed to CollingwoodToday before Christmas.

The first phase submission identifies a preferred option of a new hospital built on a greenfield site at the intersection of Poplar Sideroad and Raglan Street east of the Georgian College South Georgian Bay Campus. The estimate to build a new hospital at that site is $419 million.

The provincial government funds 90 per cent of construction, design, and contingency costs. The hospital (and community) is responsible for the remaining 10 per cent of those costs as well as 100 per cent of all equipment, furnishings, and any revenue-generating space (usually leased areas).

Stage two will require the hospital to elaborate on the master plan for the new building including the services that will be delivered there.

According to the CGMH website, a new hospital is, at minimum, eight years away.