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Group Opposed To Hospital Site Gears Up For Election, Blackburn News, June 1, 2018

Posted: June 1, 2018

http://blackburnnews.com/windsor/windsor-news/2018/06/01/group-opposed-hospital-site-gears-election/

Members of a group opposed to the new Windsor-Essex hospital plan demonstrate outside Windsor Regional Hospitals Ouellette campus on June 1, 2018. Photo by Mark Brown/Blackburn News.

Windsor-Residents opposed to the planned location of a new Windsor-Essex hospital are trying a new approach.

Members of the Ontario Health Coalition are teaming up with CAMPP, the Citizens for an Accountable Megahospital Planning Process, for a sign campaign that urges all political parties to take up the cause of changing the planned site of the new hospital, which is near Windsor Airport.

The group held a demonstration Friday morning on Ouellette Ave. outside the Windsor Regional Hospital Ouellette campus.

CAMPP has been vocal in its opposition to the proposed site, claiming that it is too far away for most of Windsor’s population to reach. Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition, says they are hoping to make this a provincial election issue.

“We are asking all of the political parties in the last days of the election to really express an openness to looking at protecting emergency services, inpatient care, and palliative services in the core of Windsor as well,” says Mehra.

The group is worried that once the new hospital is ready, the hospitals within the city will be shut down. While the coalition and CAMPP believe a new hospital is necessary, Mehra believes it’s important for people to understand that the current plan does not include provisions for keeping any of the inner-city hospitals open.

“We consider that to be a takeaway, not an add-on,” says Mehra. “It’s going to be a serious problem for access to care, and all kinds of additional costs.”

Mehra also says a plan to build a sprawling new urgent-care facility on the former Grace Hospital site downtown will do little to ease concerns since, by definition, urgent care does not allow for emergency medicine or access for ambulances.

The province of Ontario has already given the green light for hospital officials to move forward with planning for the mega-hospital, which is set to be located on Hwy 42 in south Windsor.

Windsor Regional Hospital President and CEO David Musyj has said in the past that the site of the hospital has been chosen and is no longer up for debate, calling on CAMPP to work with hospital officials to move the plan forward. However, the plan is still subject to zoning approval by Windsor City Council, which Premier Kathleen Wynne alluded to during an appearance in Windsor in February.

Residents interested in obtaining a sign for their lawns can visit this website to find out how.

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