Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Hospital Lessons from Vaughan, Ontario

While pushing for a real hospital in the city of Airdrie, I've been yipping on about that city being the largest city in Canada without a hospital.  I was wrong!

That dubious distinction belongs to the City of Vaughan, Ontario, located outside Toronto.  It's now a city of around 300,000 - and they still don't have a hospital!  The Ontario provincial government has been telling the good folks of Vaughan that they don't really need a hospital.  Because hospitals cost a fortune to build!  And after all, Toronto is just down the road -- and they have hospitals.  This discussion has been going on for years now.

Vaughan was a small city of less than 50,000 only 30 years ago.  It was (and is) one of the fastest-growing communities in Ontario.  But a number of Ontario governments said a hospital would be too expensive for such a small place!  Nothing happened. 

Now they're coming up on 300,000 residents, and the Ontario government is saying, "Holy crap, they need a hospital!  Why didn't anybody tell us?"

Does this whole story remind you of another small city just outside Calgary, with a similar story to tell?

The good news is that I understand  the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital is now under construction and will be completed in a couple of years.  But its total cost will be be much higher than it would have been had they built it a few years back, when the need for a hospital in Vaughan was first identified by people living in the city.

They say that those who do not know history are destined to repeat it.

Well Premier Notley, there's a bit of history for you.  What's the plan?

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