NHS Supervisor recommends Niagara Falls for South Niagara Hospital
Niagara Falls has won the approval of Niagara Health System Supervisor Dr. Kevin Smith as the recommended location for a south Niagara hospital.
That's just one of many recommendations in Dr. Smith's report to Health Minister Deb Matthews.
The Niagara Falls location, at the QEW and Lyons Creek area of Niagara, edged out the other proposed location site of East Main Street and Highway 140 in Welland. The site was chosen after further consultation with an expert in planning reviewed the two locations.
Fort Erie mayor Doug Martin tells 610 CKTB News he approves of the location.
"The people of the town said that's where they preferreed to have it done ... because we have to look at what's best for our community."
Jim Diodati, the mayor of Niagara Falls, says he's not surprised his city won the day.
"In terms of population density, population growth, EMS response time, urban boudaries ... there were a number of good issues that I felt we had a very strong case."
The report also makes other recommendations that differ from the interim report including the creation of two free standing Urgent Care Centres in Niagara, at locations to be determined in the coming months through consultation with EMS. The report stresses, however, that they not be located at any of the existing sites.
Dr. Smith is also recommending sites slated for decommissioning should be offered to local municipalities at fair market value.
One recommendation that hasn't changed is that Obstetrics and Pediatrics be consolidated at a single site. For the time being, it will remains at the new St. Catharines hospital however, the department should be moved to the new site in the south.
Reaction from CKTB listeners has been mixed. Jeremy called The Tom McConnell Show to says he understands everyone wants to have a new hospital in their own backyard but that's not the reality, adding the proposed site is a great location.
CKTB listener Brad Butcher posted on CKTB Facebook page that, "
With the report completed, it's now up to the health minister and the government to decide on whether or not it will accept the recommmendations in whole or in part.