Health Minister visits Collingwood for $15M hospital redevelopment announcement

Minister Elliott called the announcement "long overdue."

Ontario’s Health Minister announced $15M in funding to redevelop Collingwood General and Marine Hospital (CGMH) on its current site.

Christine Elliott says the money will go towards a five-phase plan to modernize and expand the current hospital.

Speaking to reporters outside of CGMH on Tuesday, Elliott called the announcement “long overdue.”

Asked why the province is redeveloping the current hospital site instead of investing in a new building, Elliott said it comes down to available funds.

“As you can imagine, there’s been a big demand for funds for healthcare to deal with Covid and there’s only so much money that can be put into capital redevelopment but this is a very important project and that’s why we’re moving into the second phase,” said Elliott.

CGMH CEO Norah Holder says it’s too early to say if the hospital will undergo any kind of property acquisition.

“Until we determine the services and programs and then finish the functional planning in terms of the size and needs, I really can’t comment on the space yet,” said Holder. “Once we verify the programs and services and spaces then we can take a look at what we need in terms of land, but stage two will probably define that better.”

Holder says the initial plan before the Covid-19 pandemic was to increase the footprint by three times of the current hospital.

“New and emerging standards from Covid-19 will definitely impact what the size and footprint will be,” said Holder.

Health Minister Christine Elliott announces redevelopment of Colling Marine and General Hospital.
Health Minister Christine Elliott made the announcement outside of CGMH Tuesday afternoon.

The first hospital plan was originally submitted to the province in 2016.

The current plans include expanding the intensive care, emergency, diagnostic imaging, and operating suite, along with new rehabilitation beds and more inpatient capacity.

The hospital will be in the second phase of planning for the next 12-18 months before moving into the third phase, which includes preliminary designs.

The fourth phase includes architectural drawings and then construction would begin in the fifth and final phase.