Lakeridge Health is marking a new stage of the planning process as it redevelops its Bowmanville Hospital.
“This expansion is huge for Clarington,” said Dr. Tony Stone, Chief of Staff at Lakeridge Health. “We’re watching what’s going on in the east side of the GTA. Everyone’s watching the growth.”
“We actually think about our bed capacity as a whole regional system,” he said. “Right now we are operating over 820 beds across the system. [The Bowmanville expansion] is going to cause us to grow and meet the capacity demands here in Clarington and then support the capacity needs that you’re seeing happening in Oshawa and even in West Durham because we all work together on this.”
“There’s a huge modernization going on with a big new [emergency ward],” he added. “Big new inpatient unit. Big ICU. [However] the focus will always still be on acute care.”
Stage 2 will involve mapping out how the different departments will link together.
“At its core, when the patient comes here, if they’re in a crisis, they don’t care who serves them,” said David Piccini, MPP for Northumberland-Peterborough South, at Friday’s event. “They just need care, and behind that is a lot of work.”
“You’ve got nurses communicating,” he continued. “You’ve got lab technicians. You’ve got doctors on site. And how does that communication happen and what departments need to be beside each other to make sure it’s a seamless experience for the patient?”
“What’s really exciting about this particular project is this is one of the first in Ontario that’s got the backdrop of COVID to learn.”
The next steps will be designing the project and tendering it for construction.
Officials are expecting shovels in the ground by early 2025.
“A tangible step forward,” said Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster. “And having that target date of ‘shovels in the ground, 2025,’ you can taste it coming.”
“The new [Whitby] hospital will be a number of years out,” he said. “The demand for this hospital is here. It is now. There are physical constraints in the hospital because of the age of it, accommodating equipment. Simply getting patients from Spot A to Spot B in it. So this is really, really important.”
“This transformational renovation and expansion will provide modern facilities to deliver care that will improve the patient experience and enhance access to the programs and services our community needs most,” said Whitby MPP Lorne Coe in a statement.
Updated with statements by Dr. Tony Stone