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Foundation seeks a boost in municipality’s support for new hospital

Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital Foundation is asking the municipality to up its $1.25 million pledge to $4.5 million in support of the new hospital campaign.

Foundation Executive Director Penny Rolinski told councillors at Thursday’s Committee of the Whole meeting the funds would represent about 27 per cent of the $16.5 million the foundation is tasked with raising. The government pays 90 per cent of the capital costs.

The foundation must raise roughly 10 per cent of construction costs, (estimated at $12.7 million) 100 per cent of the cost for equipment and furnishings, as well as running its annual campaigns to replace outdated equipment.

Since 1988, the foundation, on a 10-year average, has raised $400,000 every year for equipment that is mandated to be replaced. About $4 million will be needed over the next five years to purchase major pieces – including portable x-ray machines, ultrasound, digital radiography and mammography machine.

The support, Rolinski said, would go a long way toward showing the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care that the community is serious about having a new facility and 27 per cent is considered an average donation from a municipality. Reflected on the community it equates to about $52 a year per household, over seven years.

Rolinski noted donations and pledges already total at more than $6 million. The support from council would bring the total to more than $10 million before the foundation would open up community opportunities for support.

Strong community support, she noted must be clear to the ministry as the hospital moves through each of the five stages of building . Stage two planning, where the hospital is now, will take about nine months to one year to complete.

“When we look at all of the numbers of the people involved with this hospital we have about 800 health care professionals who work in the community (including positions such as personal support workers), but the hospital is really at the heart of health care,” said Rolinski. Currently there are 22 doctors, 11 specialists 58 nurses, nine allied health professionals and 300 volunteers who work in the hospital.

“It’s an amazing hospital,” he said, reminding council of the last report available, in 2013, it was named the top performing hospital in Ontario for overall acute community care in community hospitals category and in the 90th percentile of all hospitals combined. PECMH’s emergency department was also ranked in the 90th percentile in the categories of “would recommend” and “overall community hospitals”.

“What we’re working toward is putting those services into a new home because the current home is beyond its end-of-life.”

Foundation chair Monica Alyea said the road to a new hospital will take about seven years to travel, but significant support from council would mark it as a legacy project, as it was for the council in 1956 when it provided one quarter of the community’s share of the building cost for the current hospital which opened in 1959.

“I see you as a legacy council deciding to move this project forward. The next council will put it in the budget and the council following will get to cut the ribbon, hopefully. But you would be the legacy council,” she said. “That’s how important your decision is.”

Several councillors spoke positively of support but any decision made would be at a regular council meeting.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Susan says:

    Why did this come so late with a lame duck Council after budget? This has to go to the next Council.

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