Guelph General Hospital needs money for new emergency department equipment

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The Foundation of Guelph General Hospital is asking residents to open their wallets this holiday season as it needs money to purchase equipment for its expanded emergency department.

A 36-by-60-foot temporary structure was added last week in anticipation of a second COVID-19 wave and will be used as a waiting room for patients where they will also be triaged and registered.

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The hospital said it will free up space in the existing emergency department for more patient bays while still allowing for infection control measures.

But now this new space needs to be filled with equipment, which isn’t funded with public dollars from the province.

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So it’s usually left up to the hospital to pay for new equipment and they are turning to the community for help.

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“Right now we need a new ECG machine to detect heart conditions and two new diagnostic imaging systems to display X-rays and CT scans,” said Dr. Alex Ferguson, chief of emergency medicine.

He added that those are just a few items on the list, along with trauma carts.

The hospital said the temporary structure situated near the emergency department entrance on Delhi Street will help provide safer care through the cold and flu season amid the pandemic.

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The current emergency department space was designed to handle 45,000 patients a year. It now sees about 65,000 patients each year and that’s a pre-pandemic figure, the hospital said.

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Along with trying to pay for new equipment, the hospital is trying to raise $34 million to replace that temporary expansion with a permanent one, which will include new space for mental health and addictions care.

Plans for that are currently working their way through the government approval process, but the temporary structure will be in place while the pandemic continues.