Status of local hospital still unknown
by David Ros
What residents of York West do know is that come 2015 there will be a new state of the art hospital opening at Keele and Wilson. What they don't know is what will happen to the current hospital located at Finch and Highway 400 once the new one opens.
Both hospitals are part of the Humber River Regional Hospital (HRRH) network, which in addition to the Finch site, currently consists of the Church St., and Keele, campuses. However, the idea behind the new hospital – currently under construction – was to consolidate the three separate hospitals into one facility.
While both the Church St., and Keele St., campuses are relatively close to the site of the new hospital, the Finch site is located more than six kilometres away, in one of the city's most economically depraved neighbourhoods.
In addition, most of the routes from the neighbourhood surrounding the Finch site to the new hospital are some of the city's most congested.
In a Mar. 29 meeting held at Brookview Middle School by Action for Neighbourhood Change (ANC), Rennie Terbogt of the Humber River Health Coalition expressed his concern that once the new hospital opens, there will no longer be any overnight beds at the Finch site, adding that if a hospital no longer has any overnight beds, it ceases to be a hospital.
“This community has an opportunity to take a stand. This is not a loss, this is an opportunity for us to put a line in the sand and say enough! You've taken away enough from this community, now put some money back in this community,” Terbogt said.
As of now, there has been no official word from the provincial government as to what exactly is going to happen to the Finch site once the new hospital opens.
It is for this reason that Terbogt encourages residents and community members to put pressure on local politicians in order to make sure that hospital services do not leave this neighbourhood.