Health Minister tells Wilson SMH Stage 1 approval is imminent
Ontario's Health Minister told Simcoe-Grey MPP Jim Wilson during
Question Period yesterday, Stevenson Memorial Hospital's approval to
proceed to Stage 2 of the five stage capital planning process, could be
announced this week.
Mr. Wilson asked Christine Elliott for a status update on the
redevelopment plans for SMH and Collingwood General and Marine
Hospital, as "nothing much appears to have happened."
"The hospitals feel that they're no further ahead than they were during
the 15 years under the Liberals," according to the question period
transcript provided by Mr. Wilson. "The hospitals were told by health
ministry bureaucrats to keep planning for their redevelopments but at
their own expense and with no approvals in sight. In fact, these same
bureaucrats tell the hospitals that they are waiting for political
direction. So, Minister, will you please give that political direction
today so that we can move forward with these redevelopments?"
Ms Elliott said the Ministry was working "closely" with SMH on moving
"I know these hospitals are very important to you and to the people in
your communities, and that they are anxious to see things move
forward," she said. "I know for all of us, some of these projects seem
to take a lot longer
to get started than any of us would want, but that is the approval
process that is in place within the ministry. That said, we do hope to
be able to provide approvals to move forward very shortly in the coming
days. I would like to give you a particular date, but I can say that
that is coming very soon."
It's a critical step in the planning approval process because it
signals the Ministry has accepted the need and supports the conclusions
of the high level submission.
Last month, the SMH Foundation launched its largest ever fundraising
campaign with a total goal of $43 million, which is the local share of
the estimated $167 million project cost.
Mr. Wilson also invited Ms Elliott again to tour both hospitals as "it
would be great for morale and great to help move the redevelopments
forward. Will you please tour the hospitals?"
"Yes, I would be very happy to," she said. "I hope to be able to
tour both hospitals with you very soon."