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Planning grant for County’s new hospital has been delivered

Prince Edward County Mayor with Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith and Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Christine Elliott.

Minister of Health and Long Term Care, Christine Elliott confirmed the $500,000 grant toward the planning process for Prince Edward County’s new hospital has been delivered.

Elliott was in Belleville Friday for a consultation meeting with about 20 local representatives from mental health and related organizations.

Before the consultation, Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith and Elliott met with Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson and Quinte Health Care CEO Mary Clare Egberts to discuss the funding related to Phase 1 that was announced last February by Dr. Eric Hoskins, then the Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.

“This funding had been promised by the previous government, however, had not been received,” said Smith. “It is great to see this funding finally being delivered to QHC…showing commitment to a hospital that is essential to this community.

“Our discussion involved the hospital in Picton and our need for additional long term care beds in the County to deal with the shortfall caused by the closing of Picton Manor,” said Ferguson. “Although the matter of long-term care is still under review, the minister reaffirmed that a new hospital is a priority project… It was a brief meeting, but we are meeting again at the ROMA (Rural Ontario Municipalities Association) conference on Monday.”

Smith noted “Minister Elliott looks forward to meeting with Quinte Health Care in the near future to discuss further funding, as planning continues.”

Quinte Health Care is meeting in Picton at month end to review the new hospital’s Stage 2 submission to be submitted to the ministry for review and response with questions and recommendations. It outlines operational needs and space requirements for the new facility. Following, the project would move to stage 3 of 5.

Friday’s mental health conference was not open to media as it was designed to be a listening session to hear from local agencies.

Following the sessions, Elliott tweeted: “The great discussions at today’s engagement session in Belleville will help inform decisions as we look to build a comprehensive and connected mental health & addictions strategy. We’re committed to an Ontario where patients don’t need to be in crisis to get the treatment they need.”

Meetings are being held in the province following Premier Doug Ford’s announcement that Ontario is investing $3.8 billion, over 10 years, to develop and implement a comprehensive mental health and additions strategy.

“We are engaging with health care leaders, front-line staff and people with lived experiences to address critical gaps in our mental health care system,” he stated.

The government is also developing its health care system strategy which includes a look at Ontario’s Local Health Integration Networks as part of the review, along with several other agencies.

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