Markdale Standard – Letter to the Editor
We are writing to provide Centre Grey residents with an update on the status of our proposal to build the new Rural Health Centre in Markdale.
We recently met with staff from the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care’s office to seek clarity on our project’s timeline. We were joined by members of the hospital’s Board of Directors; Dr. Hamilton Hall, who as many readers will know was the Chair of the fundraising campaign for the new hospital; and Mike Barrett, CEO of the South West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
We provided the Minister’s office with a full overview of the project, its long history and our belief in the benefits of bringing hospital care and the existing Community Health Centre together on the same site with Grey Gables. We received affirmation that our Rural Health Centre proposal is in keeping with the model of integrated health care the provincial government is promoting. Our plan maximizes access to a full range of health care services for residents while minimizing costs by sharing resources with the Community Health Centre.
The South West LHIN has also been very supportive of the Rural Health Centre concept for Centre Grey and its support was reinforced by Mike Barrett during our meeting.
The Minister’s staff was very impressed with the community’s financial support, and recognized that the contributions from the Municipalities, individual donors, and businesses were quite remarkable given the size of our community.
The government has established a ten-year capital plan for infrastructure renewal in Ontario. A number of funding announcements, including several hospital projects, have been made in the past several months and it is expected that more projects will be approved and funded each year.
We do not yet have approval to move forward in our planning process. However, the Minister’s office reassured us that our hospital is included in the group of hospital projects under active consideration for subsequent years of this plan. This is extremely frustrating, of course, not only for the communities of Centre Grey but also for Grey Bruce Health Services but we do know that it is not unusual for hospital rebuilds to be a very long time in the planning stage.
Grey Bruce Health Services remains fully committed to securing approval to rebuild the hospital, and we will continue to work with the Ministry and advocate for this very special project.
While we await approval, be assured that we will continue to provide the best possible care in our current Markdale hospital.
We have always been overwhelmed by the support of the Centre Grey community for its hospital. That support maintains our enthusiasm and commitment to this very worthy project. We look forward to providing Centre Grey residents with further updates on this project.
(original signed by M. Solecki and B. Davenport)
Maureen Solecki, President and CEO, Grey Bruce Health Services
Brian Davenport, Chair, Board of Directors, Grey Bruce Health Services