The work to design and build a new hospital in Collingwood continued this week with a large submission made by the hospital's redevelopment team to the provincial government.
Like a wishlist, but with enough data analysis to be a research paper, the latest information sent by Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH) to the Ministry of Health is called a "functional program."
The detailed document describes future services, activity volumes, staffing levels, new technologies and staffing requirements of a future hospital serving the South Georgian Bay region. It offers details on how every room in a new hospital would be used and where it should be located for efficiency and good service for patients and staff.
For example, the documents recommend all the patient rooms in the new hospital should be private, and that medical and surgical bed capacity should expand. It's still undetermined how many beds the new hospital will have. The hospital also urges that a new build will include new inpatient rehabilitation beds and inpatient mental health beds, according to a news release from CGMH.
“We are extremely proud of the work that our team has put into this submission, including the collaborative approach we have taken to ensure that the voices of the patient, provider and our health care partners were included in this very important planning stage for our new hospital,” said Michael Lacroix, CGMH president and CEO, in the news release.
Previous announcements by the province have asked for a plan that is based on rebuilding the hospital on the current site, but the proposal submitted recently suggests that's not the most efficient plan.
The functional program submission includes a site analysis that concludes a new hospital on a greenfield site (one without any existing buildings) would be both less costly and faster to build, and allow for future growth and expansion compared to a rebuild on the hospital's existing 12.6-acre site.
The hospital has been offered acreage off Poplar Sideroad as part of the future regional health and wellness village proposed. Last year, the province approved a minister’s zoning order (MZO) to change the land-use zoning on the site and allow a mix of uses, including health care.
The latest submission to the province the result of 18 months of work by patients, employees, physicians and volunteers helping to paint a picture of what services and space a new hospital will need to best serve a growing South Georgian Bay region.
The functional program submission also combined expertise from hospital programmers, engineers, and architects.
The hospital anticipates feedback from the Ontario Ministry of Health over the next few weeks. Once the functional program submission is approved, the project moves into the detailed planning stage, including a tender process to select a designer.
"In its March 2023 market update, Infrastructure Ontario reaffirmed its timeline for CGMH’s project that will see the final tendering for construction of the new hospital beginning in 2026. If all goes to schedule, construction of the new hospital will begin in 2027," states the hospital news release.
The hospital is maintaining a website dedicated to the hospital redevelopment project, it's available at yourfuturehospital.com.