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GBGH Emergency Department Redevelopment


Artist rendering of the entrance to the new Emergency Department. Canopy area is new construction and to the left is the new ambulance garage. Design includes a new circle drive for patient drop off and a new road solely for ambulance access.

Frequent Asked Questions

1. How long has this project been in the planning stages?

The planning really began about 2001 when the hospital first met with the Foundation to discuss the feasibility of fundraising for such a large project. From those meetings the Our Best Care Campaign was born. It officially launched in 2005-06 and wrapped up in March 2009 after raising $4.26 million – $2.1 million of which is earmarked for the Emergency Department.

The hospital applied to the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care for pre-capital approval in 2007.

In the summer-fall of 2009 we made the decision to move the project out of the longer major capital queue with the Ministry by determining Phase I could be funded using the money raised by the Foundation and monies committed by the County of Simcoe ($2.6 million) through the Simcoe County Hospital Alliance. The large project queue (those over $10million) has some projects that are a decade old still waiting for approval. We decided that since we had the funds available to start, we would.

2. How many phases?

The project has been divided into three phases:

Phase I will be a new addition totalling nearly 6,000 square feet in the space that currently houses the ambulance bay. This new area will include a new trauma room that is easily accessible from the ambulance bay as well as a new triage area, exam rooms, nursing station, new walk-in entrance, secure rooms, increase the number of exam areas in the Acute area to 20 from the current 15; See and Treat will expand to seven exam areas from the current four and the holding area will expand to five from the current zero.

Phase II is the construction of a new four-bay ambulance garage and Phase III will retrofit the new and existing spaces into a compatible whole.

3. What is the cost?

The entire project has a $12.7-million price tag.

Phase I is a $5-million build and that is an own-funds project – which means we will get nothing from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to help pay for this capital project. Phases II and III total $8-million and we will expect 90% of the costs to be funded by the Ministry which is their formula for capital construction projects and 10% from donations raised through the Foundation. To that end the Foundation has launched a 3-year campaign to raise $1.7-million that represents the communities’ 10% share and covers the cost of equipment.

4. Why is it taking so long?

Capital construction projects at hospitals in Ontario must go through a five-stage process. Before you get to the five stages there is a pre-phase which calls for the development of a Master Program/Master Plan to provide a 20-year view of the physical space requirements and the program needs based on our local population and the changing health needs. The Master Program determines the services and programs while the Master Plan is the site design which ensures we can accomplish what we need to on our current property and where to grow our building.

GBGH completed the Master Program/Master Plan in 2010 and submitted what is called Stage one and a business case for Emergency Department redevelopment at that time.

We are currently – as of September 2012 – awaiting approval of Stage 3.2 and that will allow us to move forward to the tendering stage.

5. When will construction begin?

We anticipate construction will begin this fall – likely end of October or early November– and take 12-14 months to complete.

6. Why is the Foundation raising more money when we already did the Best Care Campaign to raise $2.1 million?

Because the project is now broken into an own-funds phase the Ministry expects the community to raise another 10% share of the capital construction costs for Phases II and III.

The Ministry never pays for the equipment to open a department so that too is something we are relying on fundraising to fund.

The current need is for $1.7million and that represents our 10% share of construction plus the nearly $1-million to equip the department and make it useable once it opens.

7. How big will the department be when it is completed?

The department will grow from its current 10,000 square feet to nearly 17,000 square feet when the project is complete.

8. When was the original emergency department built?

The department opened with the hospital in 1976. It was built to accommodate 18,000 visits a year and in the early 1990s when the Penetanguishene hospital emergency department closed with the onset of the Alliance there was a retrofit.

Today, our Emergency Department sees 45,000 patients a year. We have experienced unprecedented growth in our department – almost 10% in one year – that means we have already leap-frogged over some of the growth projections in our Master Plan.

The redevelopment provides enough space to meet the needs of our community for the next 15 years at a minimum.


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