Peel Memorial Set to Turn into a Full Hospital

You may have heard that the province is finally investing more in Brampton’s health care system. Recently, Mayor Linda Jeffrey proposed more funding for Brampton’s hospitals, and as part of that excitement, Mayor Jeffrey announced that Peel Memorial will get the attention it has been calling for.

Brampton’s health care system has been in crisis for some time now, and, after much overcrowding and complain, there are some major changes coming to hospitals in Brampton. Two details of the province’s and Major Jeffrey’s recent announcements that are not to be missed are that Brampton Civic is getting 37 new beds within weeks, and that Peel Memorial has been approved for Phase 2 - it will indeed become the city’s second full hospital.

Over all, more inpatient services, including complex continuing care and rehabilitation for patients and their families, have been confirmed for Phase 2. As well, over 100 new rehabilitation and complex continuing care beds have been promised.

When the approximately 350,000 square foot Peel Memorial opened back in April 2017, its focus was ultimately set to be on outpatient care, surgeries that do not require an overnight stay and the Urgent Care Centre (UCC).

As for what the centre currently offers, it’s equipped with diagnostics and day surgeries, senior’s rehabilitation and wellness services, women’s, children’s and adolescent care, mental health programs, a hemodialysis unit, and more.

The UCC in particular is for when something isn’t an emergency but it can wait. No ambulances come through the UCC, which was supposed to help ease the overcrowding at Brampton Civic, open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. seven days a week.

Ontario initially invested some $451 million into Peel Memorial.

Currently, the healthcare situation is dire. A whopping 4,352 patients were stuck on hallway stretchers at Brampton Civic during Code Gridlock (extreme overcrowding) for 65 days from January through April this year, often for anywhere from 40-70 hours at a time, and that’s just the brunt of it. There are, ultimately, not enough funded beds at the hospital.

The number of funded beds at Brampton Civic Hospital is about half of the provincial average of 2.3 beds per 1,000 people. Current census data shows that the city boasts a population of 593,638 (a notable increase from the 523,906 it clocked in at in 2011). As of May 2017, there were only 608 beds available, though to support our population (and its constant growth), we would need well over 1,000.

That average is lower than anywhere else in Canada, according to a health-care advocacy group, Ontario Health Coalition (OHC). Hopefully, the 37 new beds that are coming to Brampton Civic will help.

Chronic overcrowding has gotten much worse this year, with occupancy rates in acute care stuck at over 100 per cent and often reaching as high as 114 per cent, according to the NDP.

A health care motion was put forth at a recent City Council meeting, where Mayor Jeffrey also formalized the Council’s commitment - alongside the Central West Local Health Integration Network (CWLHIN) and the William Osler Health System (WOHS) - to protect lands for the city’s future and third hospital.

Since Peel Memorial opened, residents have been expressing concern over the centre’s functionality as an Urgent Care Centre and not a fully functioning hospital like Brampton needs.

So, if you’ve been waiting for Peel Memorial to fulfill its potential, the time has come, and the province is officially moving forward on Phase 2 of Peel Memorial’s development.

This announcement by the Province is much appreciated news and begins to address the explosive growth our city has been experiencing,” said Mayor Jeffrey in a statement. “These investments are critical to our community and we welcome this decision. My Council and I are committed to working closely with the local leaders to continue to advocate for better health care in Brampton.”

The cost - how much money the province will invest and how much money Brampton will invest - of the project is yet to be revealed.

What do you think of the developments?

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