BLAKE WOLFE The Standard
SCUGOG: Following a recent presentation, Scugog Council will consider a major funding request from the Port Perry Hospital Foundation in the forthcoming municipal budget process.
The $350,000 request was regarding a major renovation project coming soon to the patient wing of Lakeridge Health Port Perry, expected to get underway next spring. Dr. John Stewart, president of the foundation, outlined the extent of the project, dubbed ‘Your Hospital, Your Future,’ to councillors during his presentation. Among the improvements slated are wheelchair-accessible washrooms, upgraded storage and patient service areas and additional private rooms, which he said will be "flexible" in purpose, with an emphasis on palliative care. The current number of active beds - 26 in the in-patient wing - will be maintained in the improvements, said Dr. Stewart.
The total project is expected to ring in at approximately $2.5 million, which will be partly funded by Lakeridge Health and donations.
The project, said Dr. Stewart, will also allow the hospital to proactively prepare for any looming population increases due to factors such as increased sewage allocations in Port Perry and the ongoing extension of Hwy. 407.
"I’ve seen a lot of changes in the community and hospital," said Dr. Stewart, "and I couldn’t count how many times we’ve had to fight to keep our hospital supported. I recognize how deeply intertwined the hospital and community are. But this wing of the hospital is still in its 1967 phase - I see this as bringing that part up to current standard."
The funding request to the township, which could take place over several years, will move to the budget consideration process beginning next month, after receiving unanimous support from council members.
"This hospital is here because the community and doctors want this to happen," said Mayor Chuck Mercier. "Anyone in their right mind would be naïve to think that what we have here would remain if we fell asleep at the wheel. If we don’t invest, it will be gone – I have no doubt about that."
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