Mayors want ministry nod before they give hospital site OK

Posted by Jamie Lee on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Eddie Chau, The Tribune

The Ministry of Health must give the green light before a decision can be made on where to build a south Niagara hospital.

It’s a sentiment echoed by several area mayors.

Welland’s Barry Sharpe, Port Colborne’s Vance Badawey, April Jeffs of Wainfleet, Doug Martin of Fort Erie, Niagara Falls’ Jim Diodati and Pelham’s Dave Augustyn met with Regional Chair Gary Burroughs last Friday in the first of a series of meetings to discuss a possible hospital site.

Diodati told QMI Agency Niagara after the meeting that the province should first endorse a new hospital before the mayors make a final decision on where it should be built.

“We need to hear from the minister of health. We don’t want to be doing this in vain,” Diodati said last Friday. “We want to know if (Health Minister Deb Matthews) is on side and supportive, and get a commitment on that, or else why go through this exercise?”

Jeffs agreed with her Niagara Falls counterpart, stating the Ministry of Health must give its blessing in order to “get the ball rolling” on deciding an appropriate site.

“We want to ensure that there’s proper funding available,” Jeffs said. “It can be located anywhere. Location is a huge issue. We have to be able to build it, too.”

Sharpe said the meeting with Burroughs went well and said there was a common agreement that it should be clear funding is available to support a hospital in south Niagara.

“We have to make sure it is a possibility before we go on,” Sharpe said.

Provincially appointed Niagara Health System supervisor Kevin Smith recently recommended a new hospital in the region’s south end to complement the one under construction in St. Catharines — and replace the Welland, Port Colborne, Fort Erie and Niagara Falls hospitals. Smith asked south Niagara mayors to suggest a suitable location for a new hospital and an urgent care centre.

Smith noted at the time it would cost about $1.1 billion for badly needed renovations to south Niagara’s four hospitals.

It would cost $850 million to build a new hospital to serve those communities, he said.

Smith said it’s difficult to gauge the dialogue between the provincial and regional levels of government. As part of the process Smith said he will review the options presented by the mayors and provide it as part of a recommendation by the end of June to the health minister.

Matthews said the region and its residents have been through a lot in the past few years based on the decisions made by the NHS.

“They’ve lost confidence in their hospitals,” she said. “We really need to hear from the community before we can recommend anything. What if they don’t want this (south Niagara hospital)? I need to hear that. Smith put out some options and we need the feedback.”

Matthews said she doesn’t want to short-circuit the local process. She wants to let it go on as planned.

“Let the community respond and we’ll go from there,” she said.

 

 
 
 

News Archive

 
A Royal Affair at the Port Colborne Library
This coming Friday is a PD Day and the Port Colborne Library is encouraging…
Michelle CuthbertWed May 16th, 2018
34th Annual Arabella’s Pie Social & History…
The sweetest event of the year!
Michelle CuthbertWed May 16th, 2018
Community Safety Committee’s 24th Annual Sa…
Fire Prevention, Bike Rodeo, Touch-A-Truck, and more!
Michelle CuthbertTue May 15th, 2018
Door-to-door Water Representatives not associ…
On Sunday, May 13 representatives from ‘Home Water’ were going door-to-…
Michelle CuthbertTue May 15th, 2018
Lockview Park Community Garden Kicks Off Seco…
On Sunday May 27 beginning at 3:00 p.m. friends of the Lockview Park Commun…
Michelle CuthbertMon May 14th, 2018
Public Meeting - Sunset Park
We're hosting a Public Meeting to discuss the future plans of Sunset Park o…
Michelle CuthbertFri May 11th, 2018
Port Colborne & District Conservation Club Do…
The Port Colborne & District Conservation Club (PCDCC) donated $10,000 to t…
Michelle CuthbertThu May 10th, 2018
Port Colborne Hydro Vault Fire
Port Colborne Hydro Vault Fire causing city power outage
Michelle CuthbertWed May 9th, 2018
1 2 3 4 5 6 Next »