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New Vaughan hospital may have saved Ontario healthcare from collapse amid COVID: city staff

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A new report completed by staff at the City of Vaughan says the opening of a full-service hospital in the city last year saved the provincial healthcare system from the “risk of collapse” during Ontario’s third COVID-19 wave.

On Feb. 7, 2021, Mackenzie Health opened the Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital early exclusively to deal with COVID-19 patients, according to a report Vaughan councillors will consider Tuesday.

Between February and June the hospital only served as a COVID-19 care facility, taking patient transfers from across the GTA. During that time, the hospital treated more than 500 coronavirus patients from other hospitals, the report said.

Read more: New hospital opens in Vaughan to help health system with COVID-19 care

“Without the relief provided by CVH by opening solely to provide COVID-19 care, Ontario’s health care system would have been at risk of collapse,” City of Vaughan staff wrote.

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During that period, only intensive care and medicine beds were open.

Ontario’s third wave forced a raft of patient transfers between hospitals.

“There is nothing we can compare it to, it is the most busy we have ever been,” Justin Smith, chief flight paramedic with Ornge, told Global News at the time.

Read more: Opening of state-of-the-art Vaughan hospital to help with surgical backlog caused by coronavirus

Brampton Civic topped the list of hospitals transferring patients out in April. Tens of patients were also transferred from Humber River Hospital in Toronto and Credit Valley Hospital in Mississauga.

On June 7, Vaughan’s new hospital opened to provide full service care to York Region and the GTA. According to city staff, it was the first “net new hospital to be built in Ontario in more than 30 years.”

The hospital opened with 250 beds and can be increased to 550 beds with further spending.

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