Patient And Physician Groups Expressing Support For OSMH Future Hospital Project

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Photo courtesy of Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital

Two local Patient and Family Advisory Councils (PFACs) and the OSMH Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) are the latest to add their voice to the call for faster progress on Orillia’s Future Hospital project.

All three groups have penned individual letters of support to the Province this month, highlighting the increased urgency to move the project forward given the rapid and unanticipated community growth in just the past few years, combined with the hospital’s aged and failing infrastructure.

“It is evident that there are substantial infrastructure challenges negatively impacting the patient and family experience,” said Peter Hislop, a member of the OSMH PFAC who has served as a patient advisor on the Future Hospital Committee since its inception.

“Simple comforts that promote healing such as maintaining consistent temperature control, adequate space for rehabilitation, and opportunities to interact with others safely, are problematic.”

Similar sentiments were expressed in a letter from PFAC members of the Couchiching Ontario Health Team (COHT), who also pointed to the opportunity to design a hospital consistent with the current approach to health care delivery.

PFAC Co-Chairs Andrea Rovazzi and Barb Shakell-Barkey stated, “As a once in a lifetime opportunity to further patient-centred care and system integration in our community, a new hospital will enable OSMH to incorporate an OHT approach in its design.  We envision OSMH as the first hospital built for OHTs.”

The hospital’s Medical Advisory Committee provided the physician’s perspective in their letter of support.

“We continually struggle to keep pace with increasing needs,” said Dr. Nancy Merrow, the hospital’s Chief of Staff and Chair of MAC.

“From the higher volumes and acuity in the emergency department to the growing wait lists in a variety of medical and surgical specialties, our facility has reached its limits in physical capacity, with few options for growth.”

Merrow is concerned that inevitable increases in acute care demands will quickly outpace the hospital’s current footprint, leaving no room for the delivery of essential health care services.

“Our teams have done extraordinary work in suboptimal conditions, however, this cannot be the expectation for our community going forwards.  We can ill afford to go back to hallway healthcare due to a lack of inpatient capacity in our current facility.”

OSMH is currently awaiting formal approval of its Stage 1 submission to build a new hospital on a different site in Orillia.  Advancing onto Stage 2 is typically combined with a planning grant to move into more detailed planning.

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