Ontario’s provincial government has announced it will proceed with the second phase of Peel Memorial which will transition the health and wellness centre into a 250 bed full-service hospital with a 24 hour emergency department.
Following years of advocacy efforts by Brampton City Council and Mayor Patrick Brown, the Province says it will move ahead with plans to complete the facility which has been operating only during business hours as an urgent care centre and offering supporting health services including day surgery, seniors rehabilitation and dialysis care.
The Province has plans to set aside $30 billion over the next 10 years to support hospital infrastructure across the province, which includes funding the new construction at Peel Memorial in downtown Brampton, which is expected to begin in 2023.
Two Councillors who represent the downtown area, Regional Councillors Rowena Santos and Paul Vicente, welcomed the news in a joint statement. “Our City has suffered through decades of neglect at the provincial level, especially when it comes to healthcare services. This term of Council has aggressively advocated for Brampton’s priorities like never before, resulting in some wins in this provincial budget.”
The announcement follows a tumultuous year for Brampton which has been dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently served by only one full-service hospital with just over 600 inpatient beds, Brampton has half the number of beds when compared to the provincial average of 2.2 beds per 1000 population, an issue which has made the pandemic all the more challenging.
In January of 2020, Brampton City Council declared a healthcare emergency and called for more funding and the expansion of hospital care for the residents of the city. Councillors and Mayor Patrick Brown launched an advocacy campaign entitled Fair Deal For Brampton.
The campaign included a petition and active advocacy work by holding regular one-on-one meetings between Councillors, the Mayor and Provincial Members of Parliament and Ministers, including Christine Elliott, the Province’s Minister of Health. In each of those meetings the City demanded the completion of Phase II of Peel Memorial Hospital and urgent action for a third healthcare facility in Brampton as well as additional funding to expand services in the existing facilities.
Brampton’s Mayor Patrick Brown praised the news. “Funding from our Provincial partners is critical to Brampton’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and we are thankful for today’s announcement of a second hospital in Brampton through Phase II of Peel Memorial,” he said, via a press release. “The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified Brampton’s critical need for timely and equitable healthcare funding.”
Phase II of Peel Memorial Hospital will bring 250 inpatient beds and will transition the urgent care centre into a full emergency department with 24-hour operations.
Santos and Vicente say more work to advocate for healthcare in Brampton is needed. “We are absolutely grateful that this provincial budget brings many wins for Brampton, but healthcare services to support our growing population continues to lag behind the provincial average. We are only starting to catch up.”
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