IT’S OUR HOSPITAL
Just the FAQs, please
By Fran Donaldson, Vice Chair, PECM Hospital Foundation
As a Directors of the Hospital Foundation, my colleagues and I are often asked about the hospital (the existing one or the new one), whether at a meeting or in casual conversation over coffee or at the bridge table. I’m sure that if one person asks, there are others who don’t know the answers, either. So here are a few Frequently Asked Questions and some answers.
Q: What does the PECMH Foundation do? A: The Foundation’s one and only purpose is to raise money for our hospital. Everywhere in Ontario, the provincial government pays for the building, maintenance and operation of hospitals but does NOT pay for medical equipment: That is the responsibility of the community and the work of the Foundation.
Q: How do you know what equipment to buy? A: A committee of medical staff at Quinte Health Care, including representatives of our hospital, decides what is needed. The list, showing the estimated cost and the importance of the equipment, is discussed with the Foundation; the Board of Directors decides which items we will purchase. Once the equipment is bought (by QHC), and delivered and installed, along with any necessary training, the invoice is sent to the Foundation, and – hopefully – by then we have raised the money to pay it.
Q: But now you’re talking about raising money for a new hospital. Doesn’t the government pay for that? A: The government pays 90% of the construction and related costs; the remaining 10%, in addition to all the required equipment, must be paid by the community. The Foundation’s job is to raise that share.
Q: What’s QHC’s role in all of this? A: Getting a new hospital in the County is Quinte Health Care’s #1 capital priority and a key part of their current strategic plan. QHC is paying a fair share – about half – of the planning costs. In cooperation with the South-East Ontario Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), they have moved the request along through the government’s approval process.
Q: So, when will we know if we’ll get a new hospital? A: The provincial government’s approval process is NOT short-and-sweet; it is a multi-stage affair with several steps in each stage. Having fulfilled all the requirements and answered all the questions, we are now hoping for an answer that will move our request to Stage 2 (of 5).
Q: Where will the new hospital be built? A: After much consultation with the community and expert investigation, the site chosen is behind the existing hospital. The plan is to keep the current hospital in operation while the new one is built in what is now the parking lot. When the new building is ready, the patients will be moved and the old building could be demolished to make room for a new parking lot.
Q: Really? Why can’t the old building be used for something else? A: There are several considerations. For one thing, the space will be needed for parking, which is expected to double (and is already problematic). Also, more importantly, the building itself is getting old and the cost of bringing it up to code for housing or long-term care could be prohibitive. Still, this question is still being debated and we won’t need or get an answer for some time yet.
We’ll need everyone’s help to bring the plans to reality. For more information, please contact Penny at 476 1008 ext. 4503, Briar at ext. 4425, or Marthe at ext. 4502. You can also visit our website at www.pecmhf.ca.