Health Services head highlights Markdale hospital plans

·2 min read

Gary Sims, the president and CEO of Grey Bruce Health Services recently shared what he called “good news on the horizon” with local municipal council.

The new Markdale hospital will be a $70-million two-year build, and it’s hoped that construction will begin in early spring.

“I know we’ve waited a long time,” he said.

He acknowledged the efforts put in by the community, the foundation and council itself over a lengthy time.

“And we’re still jumping through hoops,” he said, naming transition planning, project planning and materials management.

Probably the hospital will be a two-year project with the first year-and-a-half given over to construction and the last six months for moving equipment into the new facility and other preparations for the move.

The new hospital is certainly different from the way many of the area hospitals were built in the past, he said.

Mr. Sims said that probably the biggest concern they are hearing is the change to four beds from 14 in the present hospital..

He said that the hospital in Owen Sound – built as a 400-bed facility now has about 170 beds. Meaford when it was built had 60 beds and now probably has a quarter of that.

Patient care today is highly technological, he said, with new non-surgical procedures.

“Do I think four is the right number?” he asked. “No… there may be some alterations during construction to assist in creating the appropriate amount of beds for our needs.”

The new hospital will provide double the space for ambulatory (outpatient) care, as well as larger emergency room, lab, physio and exam rooms. It will have all modern and new equipment, he said, with more private patient rooms.

He also highlighted the air circulation management, which will be up-to-date.

GBHS is looking at whether some surgery procedures may be moving back to Markdale in the future, he said.

Since the hospital is a major employer, he highlighted that there are no layoffs foreseen and there may be expansion.

He mentioned that GBHS would love to see a developer come forward to build a comfortable and appealing place for a locum physician to stay, as it may encourage them to come back.

He did note that physician recruitment is seeing more applications since COVID from people looking to be physicians in this area.

M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald