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Guelph General Hospital asks city council for $4.5 million

Guelph General Hospital says hallway medicine is a daily reality in their emergency department.
Guelph General Hospital says hallway medicine is a daily reality in their emergency department. Guelph General Hospital

Guelph General Hospital says it will be asking city council for $4.5 million over five years to help fund what it calls three immediate, urgent priorities.

That includes expanding the emergency department by 6,400 square-feet to address overcrowding and requirements surrounding spaces for mental health and addictions.

READ MORE: ‘Like ripples on a pond’: Guelph General Hospital’s ICU gets 5 new beds

They said the emergency department sees nearly 20,000 more patients than it was originally designed for.

The hospital also wants to renovate its Special Care Nursery, which hospital foundation CEO Suzanne Bone said is badly needed.

“There’s really not much privacy there,” she said in an interview on Friday. “There’s no space for a parent to sleep beside their baby and there are supplies absolutely everywhere.”

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“We’re bursting at the seams.”

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The hospital is planning to build six single bassinet rooms, one room for twins and one isolation room, totalling 5,600 square-feet. There will also be a separate resuscitation room.

The third priority will be the purchase of new equipment which the hospital said will reduce wait times, provide quicker, better and safer diagnosis and treatment.

READ MORE: Proposed 2.71 per cent levy included in Guelph’s 2020 capital budget

All of this is expected to cost about $45 million, with the Ministry of Health expected to chip in $15 million.

The hospital pointed out that the province does not fund the cost of equipment and will not provide funding for the nursery, so it falls on the community.

The ask of the city is $900,000 over five years, equalling $4.5 million. The rest of the funding would have to come from donations and fundraising, Bone said.

So far they have raised $13 million of their $30 million goal to fund the three priorities.

“We could not do what we do at Guelph General without the support of our community,” she said. “Literally every piece of patient care equipment is at our hospital because of that support.”

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Ontario government increases hospital funding to address ‘hallway medicine’
Ontario government increases hospital funding to address ‘hallway medicine’

Mayor Cam Guthrie said he will approve the funding request and urged residents to tell their councillors to do the same.

“This is basically number one if there was a top 10 list,” he said. “I have been campaigning and advocating for increased health services in our hospital for over eight years now.”

City council is expected to decide on Nov. 4 if the funding should be referred to their 2020 budget deliberations.

READ MORE: Guelph General Hospital receives $5M donation

City staff is recommending council add a separate hospital levy on residents’ tax bill, but council will have to decide how to divide up the funds being collected for each of the five years.

The full report can be read on the city’s website.