Oshawa Councillor says north Oshawa the “best site” for new hospital; claims final selection “pre-determined”

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Published January 7, 2022 at 11:57 am

Oshawa Regional Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri believes the best site for a new hospital for Durham Region is north Oshawa because of the synergies in building it near Ontario Tech University.

A “full scale teaching hospital /healthcare campus” north of the university off Simcoe Street would provide benefits to services, amenities and transportation, as well as a direct link to a post-secondary network, he says, making it the clear choice and Lakeridge Health’s “best option” for the future hospital site.

Oshawa had been in the running with Pickering and Whitby to host the new hospital until last month. Pickering was told last week they were out, while Oshawa was informed in December their site did not make the cut because it was too close to the existing Lakeridge Health hospital building at Simcoe Street and Adelaide Avenue.

Marimpietri, however, called that reasoning a “very trivial and seemingly unfair site selection criteria” and said he is not giving up the fight, predicting it will be many years before any final decision is made or any shovels go in the ground – despite Lakeridge Health announcing this week that Whitby’s site (near Lakeridge Road and Highway 407) is the “preferred” option.

Tito-Dante Marimpietri

“I fundamentally believe that those involved in making (this) selection got this wrong,” he said. “It is a shame the province and Lakeridge Health did not see the opportunities and benefits of locating this $1.5 billion investment in an innovation setting which offers the community a full-scale teaching hospital healthcare campus at Ontario Tech University and Durham College.”

“Common sense would tell anyone …that the benefit of a University/College healthcare campus to the wellness needs of a community is vital to providing advanced healthcare services. This is why so many hospitals are located in close proximity to Universities and such post secondary institutions worldwide.”

Marimpietri also claimed, as did his colleague Brian Nicholson when Oshawa was first told by Lakeridge Health they were out of the picture, that the site for the new hospital was “pre-determined” before the process even got underway.

“It became painfully and distinctly apparent which site was preferred by the Provincial Government and bureaucrats, by example of the criteria leveraged to ensure ‘their’ preferred site was selected. My question is, why the bother of dragging so many communities through a so-called site selection process if by hook or by crook the site was always and only ever going to be whatever they were already predisposed and biased to choosing?”

“Those involved in this so-called ‘site selection process’ would have saved us all … a lot of time and money by just being upfront,” he added. “I can not hide my disappointment on this decision.”

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