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‘Alignment’ key to getting County a new hospital


The County hospital is in the pre-capital stage.

Municipal, regional, provincial and community “alignment” will be key to building a new hospital in Prince Edward County.

A special meeting at Shire Hall  was organized to receive presentations from officials for council to gain information about the process from planning to construction. The County expects to approval may come through in the fall to build a new hospital.

The idea for the meeting came from councillor Treat Hull, who said that in the course of council’s debate on how much to commit to the foundation’s fundraising drive for the new hospital, it because clear the planning process was unclear for several council members.

“I was very pleased with the meeting as a vehicle to give councillors a well-grounded understanding of how the process will play out,” he said. “I thought it also provided a good context for understanding the role of a new hospital, which will be radically different than when the current hospital was conceived.”

Presentations were made by Paul Huras, CEO, South East Local Health Integration Network; Katherine Stansfield, vice-president and chief nursing officer at QHC and Stephanie MacLaren, executive director, Prince Edward Family Health Team.

“The ministry does need to set direction and strategy but how we implement that strategy in the community is different in the northeast than it is in the southeast…  Devolution does not mean independence, devolution is really about alignment; and taking that understanding and really responding to the local need. We’re all just balancing – the ministry’s high-level direction with very detailed local needs of our community. We’re always balancing that. That’s our role.”

The County’s hospital project, he said, is exciting and has been back on track and have been for about a year now.

“It’s not about wants, it is about needs,” said Huras. “I think there is a commitment from all parties to focus on this.”

Needs change for a lot of reason – not just with the growth of the population and the needs of the population, but with the changes in technology and the changes in how procedures are improved at hospital.

Huras explained there is a constant monitoring of changes and constant need to be responsive to pattern of care changes. The LHIN provides direction for program and service integration, collaboration, alternative service delivery models including support functions.

“No longer can any one health organization work in isolation. They need to work horizontally with other hospitals – all across the region – and they also need to work vertically in your own community with primary care, long-term care and health services and it all needs to come together in a matrix so it’s very important that no  organizations sees itself as an island on their own.”

Huras was optimistic construction could begin in seven years though QHC has been working on a 10-year window.

Stansfield, who is leaving the corporation in August to become executive director of the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba, continued the theme of “alignment” with corporate and regional initiatives including the QHC services, LHIN planning and health care planning.

“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for us to be united as a community and be excited about the project. That is what the ministry will pay attention to.”

Regarding planning for the number of patient beds in the County she said the QHC board has stated in-patient beds will be provided at all sites, but the type and quantity remain under review.

The ministry, she noted, has instructed the hospital not to proceed with further detailed planning until it receives written approval to advance to the next capital planning and design stage.

She said QHC is continuing to review programs to improve efficiency, safety and effectiveness and public consultations and collaboration with the PEC Family Health Team will support decisions.

MacLaren confirmed the Prince Edward Family Health’s Team’s support. The team includes 22 physicians and 39 staff looking after 20,000 rostered patients.

“We really see ourselves as part of this health system transformation and part of that vertical integration that Paul explained earlier,” she said. “We’re really key to this whole system. Here in the County we have a unique vision of the possibilities of comprehaensive care here. We do have very strong partnerships and working relationships with CCAC and QHC that we’re continually refining.”

A key here, she said, is the proximal relationships and the PEFHT is hoping for  co-location with all services.

The County’s overall hope is to connect the new hospital to the Age in Place development at the H.J. McFarland location and also include space for the Prince Edward Family Health Team there.

Ministry funding covers 90 per cent of construction, not including land or parking; all consultant fees; 90 per cent of ancillary costs such as soil and air quality testing and all minor non-depreciable equipment costs.

The community must cover 10 per cent of the construction and ancillary costs; 100 per cent of the land acquisition costs and 100 per cent of the equipment costs.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Marnie says:

    What a load of meaningless words – alignment, balancing, vertical and horizontal integration, matrix and proximal relationships. Whatever happened to plain English? The facts are buried in a lot of jabberwocky. No wonder some of the councillors are unclear as to what is proposed. It tires one out just to read those exciting new plans described in high-faluting ten-dollar words. We got the shaft and a new hospital is going to be a Band-Aid relief station that will provide only very basic care until the patients can be shipped off elsewhere. A significant and frightening down-grade is being described as an alignment and a marvel of balancing. More like we have been nullified.

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