Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Guest column: Time is now to move forward on new hospital

WINDSOR, ON. SEPTEMBER 25, 2017. --  Stephen MacKenzie, CEO of the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation, speaks at a council executive committee meeting on Monday, September 25, 2017. (DAN JANISSE/The Windsor Star)

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Our region’s unemployment rate is among the highest in the country. Our region’s economy desperately needs stimulus and advancing this project would create approximately 14,000 full-time equivalent jobs and generate billions in economic activity.

Global corporations considering investing here are also watching. If we do not act, they may well choose to invest in other places that have the adequate health care their employees need.

They would have reason as the quality of health care in this region as it stands is in jeopardy.

New provincial guidance for hospitals during COVID-19 was released last month. If guidelines for physical distancing were followed to standard, Windsor Regional Hospital would lose 21 per cent of its total bed capacity due to a lack of single occupancy rooms.

That would severely impact operations and access to care.

Allowances are made for aging facilities by the province, so the fantastic team on staff at Windsor Regional Hospital will have to make do as they always have, and patients will continue to be cared for in below-standard ward rooms.

Windsor Regional Hospital recently suffered yet another damaging flood after a significant rainfall. This isn’t surprising as the buildings have reached the end of their lifespan. Only a new facility will do. The team at Windsor Regional Hospital has said so themselves.

The location of this new hospital has been the subject of debate for more than four years. We cannot afford four more.

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