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Old Posted Jun 23, 2006, 1:21 PM
upinottawa upinottawa is offline
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Location: Ottawa/Windsor
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Hospital unveils makeover plans

Don Lajoie, Windsor Star
Published: Friday, June 23, 2006

The final phase of the citywide hospital restructuring program is under way at Windsor Regional Hospital with an announcement Thursday that planning has begun on a multi-million-dollar makeover of the Western Campus off Prince Road.

Hospital officials outlined the scope of the renovations,which are expected to begin early in 2008 with demolition of a city block's worth of vacant campus buildings, including the former Regional Children's Centre. The "brick and mortar" work will follow in 2009, said Bill Marcotte, director of mental health services.

At the core of the master plan will be the construction of a mental health building to house 59 beds plus facilities for associated programs for patients requiring specialized mental health services. Completion of the new wing will mean these services will be made available in this community for the first time.

"Relocation of the 59 beds from London and St. Thomas means that the families of these patients will no longer have to face a two-hour drive," said Marcotte. "It makes things much easier for them."

Martin Girash, CEO of Windsor Regional, said no budget has been set for the project because of new procedures in the tendering process, which will see the contractors and financiers submit their cost projections for the work rather than being handed a pre-ordained budget target to shoot for.

He said that such a method, which will require that planning be done in detail before the hospital's requirements are released to the bidding companies, will ensure competition between potential builders and hopefully result in savings for the taxpayers and government. Money will also be provided under the Alternate Funding Plan recently announced by the province, which incorporates private sector funding sources.

Girash said the first phase of the restructuring is complete, with the transfer of 20 palliative-care patients from the Lower Tower Building to the Malden Park Continuing Care Centre, renovated over the past three months at a cost of about $600,000. The plan also includes the addition of 52 complex continuing care beds, bringing the total to 186.

© The Windsor Star 2006
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