I support a Mega-hospital Plan Re-Think
This is why:
A well-chosen hospital location and its satellites will be accessible to all residents, regardless of income or where they live. Sites should also be environmentally sustainable. The proposed hospital plan does not meet these criteria.
Access: Our new hospital needs to be close to the greatest concentration of people requiring medical care, as well as the greatest concentration of physicians treating the patients.
Urgent Care Centre: The proposed outpatient UCC, providing treatment for non-life threatening conditions only, will not be a suitable replacement for a full service acute care hospital. Residents in Windsor's core need a facility that treats serious conditions, accepts ambulances and provides 24/7 healthcare services.
Beds: The planned new hospital adds no new beds on opening day. Our population is rapidly aging. Ninety percent of our expected 25 year population growth will consist of seniors aged 75 and over. Toronto's brand new Humber River Hospital has run into capacity problems already, why would Windsor-Essex be different?
Resilience: Concentrating all of our hospital healthcare services in one facility near Windsor's airport, far from all established neighbourhoods, will reduce our community's resilience in the event of a catastrophe. For example, the August 2017 flooding made major arterial roadways unusable, stranding thousands of residents.
Cost of infrastructure: Windsor has a billion dollar infrastructure deficit today. Building our new hospital on the municipal boundary will reduce our ability to meet existing infrastructure needs.
Cost of sprawl: Our new hospital should not create more sprawl or destroy one of the region's greatest assets, our agricultural land. A hospital built on greenfield land outside Windsor, while initially appearing cheaper, will in the longer term be more costly to all of us living in Essex County.
Population Density: It is upside-down logic to think it is feasible for the people from the greatest population density to trek to a location that is more geographically central. This will not help ambulance response times, and it will put up barriers to access for those who don't drive and physicians on call.
Wastefulness: The Cancer Centre was built in 2001, using a mix of public funds and funds raised in the community. It is wasteful to demolish buildings that were considered to be state of the art just a short while ago and should still have many years of useful life.
Detroit: The location must also enable the speedy emergency ambulance transfers to Detroit area hospitals to continue. It would be foolish to turn our backs on the benefits of living in a border city with access to major world class medical facilities that are unavailable in Windsor.