Ontario budget supports next step for Windsor-Essex hospital

Windsor Regional Hospital President and CEO David Musyj attends the October 6, 2016 board meeting. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Ontario Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy has announced the government will be supporting the planning of a new regional hospital in Windsor-Essex.

“Building a new state-of-the-art hospital for Windsor will be a game-changer for the community and the families that live there. I couldn’t be more proud to support this project with a nearly $10 million investment in planning, getting us one step closer to making this hospital a reality,” said Premier Doug Ford.

The 2021 Budget committed $9.8 million to fund the second phase of the planning process.

“I find it exciting that we are going to be, most likely, one of the first hospitals build, of this magnitude, post this pandemic,” said Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj. “That will be using lessons learned during this pandemic to help with the functional programming and eventual design.”

This launches stage 2 of the planning process which includes creating a detailed description of how each part of the hospital will operate from workflow, equipment and patient space.

“That’s where you put into words how the hospital is going to function. You break it down by program by program and you examine how it is going to function in words and then you take those words and you give it to architects to design a hospital around those words,” said Musyj.

Windsor Regional Hospital has already purchased the property on County Road 42 and the 9th Concession for the new hospital. Musyj indicated there will be widespread community consultation throughout this phase of the project.

Mayor Drew Dilkens was also pleased to hear about the funding for the development. He told BlackburnNewsWindsor.com Wednesday night that the news was a victory for the whole region.

“There’s no other way to slice this, but Doug Ford delivered for Windsor-Essex,” said Dilkens. “The budget was clear, it was black-and-white in the document but also in the Minister’s speech. Almost $10-million to support the ongoing planning for a new acute-care site in the city of Windsor, a new regional hospital for Windsor-Essex, something that is a big win for the community, and something that the community has been fighting for for years.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls.

“I am thankful that our government has listened carefully to the many advocates for the new Windsor Regional Hospital,” said Nicholls in a media release. “This new funding of $9.8 million is an enormous kick-start in the continued planning stages for the development of the new mega hospital.”

Work will begin immediately and is expected to take 24 months to complete.

—with files from Mark Brown