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2020 in review: new Collingwood hospital application still stuck in first phase

The five-phase application process, which began in 2016, has seen delays this year because of COVID-19, but officials are hopeful for good news soon
Collingwood General and Marine Hospital.

Officials at the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital already knew the community needed a new hospital, the COVID-19 pandemic has further fortified their position. 

Norah Holder, president and CEO of the Collingwood G&M Hospital (CGMH) said she expects to hear back from the Ministry of Health’s capital branch “in short order” regarding the redevelopment application submitted by the hospital to the province. 

The hospital’s application has been in stage one of a five-stage process since 2016 when the CGMH officials submitted their first request to the ministry. 

Since then, the hospital has received comments on its application from the ministry and resubmitted. In 2019 the province’s budget included support for the CGMH redevelopment application. 

However, stage one approval from the ministry of health’s capital branch is still pending. 

Recently, after a barrage of questions from Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson, Ontario’s minister of health noted her department was in the midst of deciding whether CGMH could start planning for a new building on a new site, or for a renovation of the current building and site. 

“To me, that means we’re going to have a redevelopment,” Holder told CollingwoodToday. “We’ve spoken with ministry officials and put forward our case … COVID-19 has truly demonstrated just how much we need a brand new hospital.” 

Simply, the hospital needs more space. 

Holder wants to see private rooms for all patient rooms. 

“We need private beds so much more even just to meet emergent and current infection control standards,” she said. 

In a video posted to the hospital’s social media pages, Holder noted the hospital has support from all five of the municipalities in its service area, including Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, Grey Highlands, Clearview Township, and Wasaga Beach. 

“What has been established and has really started to take root is the very strong support from all five of the municipalities,” said Holder in the video. 

In October, MPP Wilson called on municipalities and residents to write letters to Ontario’s premier and health minister in support of the CGMH redevelopment. 

“I’ve always believed that the squeaky wheel gets the grease,” said Wilson in a news release issued in October. 

After that, surrounding municipalities sent their own letters in support of the CGMH application. 

Though there’s still no firm date provided by the ministry of health on when the Stage 1 application for CGMH’s redevelopment will be approved, Holder is optimistic they will hear news soon. 

“We appreciate your passion, persistence, and patience as we move through this process together,” said Holder in the video. “Most importantly, please remember a hospital redevelopment is indeed a marathon and not a sprint.”

Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and community editor. She has 13 years of experience as a local journalist
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