The Ontario Health Coalition is putting the spotlight on the proposed mega hospital with less than a week to go in the provincial election campaign.

Executive director Natalie Mehra doesn’t think residents are informed enough about the decision.

“The so-called mega hospital is one hospital to replace all of the existing hospitals in Windsor,” says Mehra. “There will be no emergency room in the city. The only emergency department will be past the airport shared by over 330,000 people no bigger than what currently exists.”

Mehra was in Windsor Friday to launch a sign campaign, encouraging residents to vote for accessible public health care in the city’s downtown core.

“We’re asking all of the political parties in the last days of the election to really express openness to look at protecting emergency services, in patient care, palliative services in the core of Windsor.”

The future Regional Acute Care Hospital for Windsor-Essex would be located at County Road 42 and the 9th concession near the airport. It has been criticized by many residents in the community who would prefer a location downtown.

Windsor Regional CEO David Musyj says an urgent care department will remain in the city’s core, but a decision has not been made about where it will be located.

That will be part of the design and planning process, stages two and three of the project. That is expected to take three years, and cost between $20 and $30-million.

The overall price-tag of the region’s new acute care hospital is expected to be around $2-billion.

The Essex County Health Coalition warns the new hospital could hurt Erie Shores Health Care in Leamington.

“The county needs to realize two years ago we were able to save the Leamington hospital OB department,” says chair Kim DeYong.  “One of the reasons we were able to do that is to show that we were too far from the OB services at Met campus.”

For residents interested in the health coalition’s signs, you can visit the website at www.gatheringsteam2018.ca

Infrastructure Ontario has been appointed to lead the procurement process for construction of the new hospital. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is scheduled to be issued in 2021, but that is subject to change.

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care says the new facility will serve more than 400,000 people in the region, providing advanced acute care services designed to meet the changing health care needs of local residents.

Officials say the move of acute mental health beds to the Tayfour campus to create a regional centre of excellence for mental health will also continue to be a part of the discussion.

https://windsor.ctvnews.ca/ontario-health-coalition-wants-spotlight-on-proposed-mega-hospital-leading-up-to-election-1.3955788