GBGH Emergency Department construction update
June 13, 2018 – Although expected to be open in time for the busy summer season at Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH), the final phase of construction on the Emergency department (ED) construction is delayed. The hospital expected its ED redevelopment to be complete this month, but is now working on timelines for later this summer.
One of the significant construction delays has been sourcing some materials for Phase 3 to be consistent with those used in the previous two construction phases (completed in 2014 and 2017). With many moving parts in any construction project, GBGH now aims to take possession of the new See & Treat and waiting room area in late July, taking a few weeks to equip and train staff in the space with an anticipated opening in mid-August. The ED administration area and grand opening is not expected to be complete until September.
“This final phase continues to be very challenging, especially going into our busy summer season,” says Lorraine Harker, ED manager, GBGH. “It’s quite common on an average day in the off season we will see approximately 110 visits to our ED. In the summer, our daily average is around 140 and on a long weekend, it’s not uncommon for us to peak as high as 160 to 180 visits per day. This can be very challenging at the best of times, let alone when we are under construction in vital areas of our department.”
This final phase, which began in December 2017, has caused the closure of the main waiting room, the See & Treat area, main hallway from Diagnostic Imaging/main entrance to the ED and the department’s administration areas. Over the winter, measures such as a temporary waiting rooms were set-up elsewhere in the department. A temporary See & Treat area was established, but given its smaller size, it’s difficult to meet the demand. More than 60 per cent of ED patients are directed to the See & Treat area.
Even though GBGH has recently gained some room back, the hospital’s ED space is still very limited. GBGH asks patients for their cooperation and understanding during the remainder of the redevelopment.
“This is obviously not an ideal scenario going into our summer season when the population in our area grows from 55,000 to 200,000 people,” says Gail Hunt, president and CEO, GBGH. “Our ED team will continue to do their best to meet the growing demand the hospital will see in the coming months. With every summer season, we always hope cottagers and tourists don’t need us, but if they do, we are certainly here for them.”
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Georgian Bay General Hospital (GBGH) is a 105-bed acute care community hospital located in Midland, Ontario. The hospital offers emergency, ambulatory, acute, intensive and complex continuing care, as well as imaging, dialysis, obstetrical and rehabilitation services. GBGH serves the areas of Midland, Penetanguishene, Christian Island as well as Tay, Tiny, Springwater and Georgian Bay Townships.