Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati is “a champion for Niagara and Niagara Falls,” said Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins of the mayor’s continued lobbying for the new hospital
By Doug Draper
Posted October 30th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – They began by calling it a “win-win” for all of Niagara.
In front of a gathering this October 30th of Niagara’s municipal leaaders, Ontario Heaalth Minister Eric Hoskins announced that the province’s Liberal government has approved plans to build a second new hospital in the Niagara region within a matter of 15 years – this one being built to serve municipalities in the southern half of the region.
The hospital will be built in the south end of Niagara Falls at the intersection of Lyons Creek and Montrose Roads just of the QEW highway.
“It will be a state of the art hospital” offering a “wide range of services for populations in Niagara’s southern tier, said Hoskins, adding that the province is also committed to keeping the Welland Hospital open with “24/7 emergency services and more.”
“Everybody knows how important the Welland Hospital is to the Welland community,” said Hoskins, while not offering any further detail in his comments on what services at the Welland Hospital beyond the emergency department will be saved.
Hoskins then introduced Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati as “a champion for all of Niagara and Niagara Falls” who relentlessly lobbied for the new hospital in his municipality’s south end.
“Right now it looks like we are in the middle of a farm field,” said Diodati of the site where the new hospital is planned to go, but “Niagara is growing south and as (former NHL hockey star) Wayne Gretzky said; ‘don’t go where the puck is, go to where the puck is going.”
Nothing was said during the comments made at the site by the health minister, Niagara Falls mayor or Niagara Health CAO Kevin Smith about how much the hospital will cost, whether it will be totally paid for with public money or financed through a public-private sector partnership and when it might be built and ready to open.
Later, in a news release circulated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, it was said that “the new hospital will provide health care to over 434,000 people through state-of-the-art facilities designed to meet the region’s changing health care needs”.
The news release adds that “patients will have access to emergency and urgent care, laboratory services, ambulatory clinics, and full diagnostics including MRI, CT scans, ultrasounds and X-rays. The hospital will also feature traditional healing spaces and will continue to facilite Niagara Health’s role in educating medical and other health professionals.”
“When complete,” continues the release, “patients in the region will also have access to:
- General surgical services
- A regional stroke program
- Seniors’ wellness and aging programs
- Breast screening services
- Integrated chronic disease management programs
- Mental health and addictions programs and outpatient services for children, youth and adults.
“The Welland hospital,” the news release concludes, “will remain open for patients and families in Niagara. The hospital’s services will be finalized as the planning process for the new hospital moves forward.”
Hoskins noted to reporters later that his ministry is engaged in talks with Niagara Health (formerly known as the Niagara Health System, the amalgamated body responsible for operating hospital services across the region) on what ohte services, aside from emergency, to provide at the Welland Hospital in the years ahead.
Geriatric, dialysis treatment, oncology, chronic disease treatment and addition services are among those being discussed.
We still haven’t got an estimated cost figure for the new hospital or how or what sectors will finance its construction. Five years ago, when the idea of building another hospital for south Niagara were first being discussed with affected municipalities, including Niagara Falls, Fort Erie, Port Colborne, Welland, Pelham and Wainfleet, estimated well above half a billion dollars were mentioned.
Niagara At Large will strive to bring you more details on this issue in the days ahead.
To read a related post on this issue, click on – https://niagaraatlarge.com/2017/10/27/is-the-ontario-government-about-to-announce-it-is-moving-forward-with-a-new-hospital-for-south-niagara-in-the-southwest-corner-of-niagara-falls/ .
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