Whitby MP joins campaign to get the Province to commit to a new critical care hospital for Durham


Published February 13, 2024 at 2:44 pm

Whitby MP Ryan Turnbull

Whitby MP Ryan Turnbull has joined the campaign to push the Provincial government to give the go-ahead to build a much-needed new critical care hospital in Whitby.

January marked two years since an independent panel of experts chose a slice of land in Whitby as the preferred site for a new hospital serving Durham Region. The date also marked two years since the Province began dragging their heels in announcing a shovel-in-the-ground date for the much-needed facility.

With last week’s announcement that the Province has secured a federal investment of $3.1 billion for healthcare (added to the $77 billion from the Canada Health Transfer), Turnbull believes Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Sylvia Jones have run out of excuses.

“The site was selected fair and square through a meticulous process and extensive community consultations by an independent expert panel,” Turnbull said in a social media post. “We have everything in place to get started on this much needed hospital.”

Whitby Mayor Elizabeth Roy – who is on record suspecting political interference from neighbouring Pickering in the process – has already had enough.

“For two years, we have waited patiently for the Province to approve a $3 million capital planning grant for Lakeridge Health and complete the land disposition process for the hospital site. These are the only roadblocks standing in the way of moving this hospital forward,” Roy said in a news release announcing the Town has launched a public advocacy offensive to force the Province to commit to the hospital. “That’s why I’m asking residents to speak out and join our advocacy efforts.”

The Province of Ontario first recommended a new acute care hospital for Durham Region in 2015 and in January 2022 – following a transparent, two-stage site selection process – Lakeridge Health announced lands in Whitby as the preferred site for a proposed new hospital for Durham Region.

The site selected by Lakeridge Health is located south of Highway 407, west of Highway 412, east of Lake Ridge Road and north of Highway 7/Winchester Road in Whitby – hard on the border with Pickering.

Since then, Roy noted, “there has been zero action” from the Ontario government on the $3 million Planning Grant and land commitment required to move the project forward.

It’s all on the Province to get the project moving now, noted Turnbull. “The federal government has done its part and the funding is in place. The Town of Whitby has done their part. The only thing left is for the Ontario government to follow through on its commitment and do right by the people of Durham.”

It’s past time to get the project started, Roy pointed out. By 2041, Lakeridge Health will need an estimated 1,793 hospital beds – more than double the current count.

“Our residents face overwhelming waits in the emergency department or to be admitted to the hospital. When seconds count, Toronto and Kingston are the only options for Durham residents who need trauma care,” she said. “We need more care closer to home, and we can’t wait any longer.

Turnbull said he has met with both Ford and Jones and “urged” them to “get moving on the Whitby hospital.”

Residents to go to  https://www.whitby.ca/en/town-hall/a-new-hospital-in-whitby.aspx to send a message to the Province about why healthcare close to home and a new hospital in Durham matter.

indurham's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising