TORONTO — Premier Doug Ford says a new hospital set to open in Vaughan, Ont., will be used to relieve capacity issues because of rising COVID-19 rates.
Ford says some patients from overcrowded Greater Toronto Area hospitals will be transferred to Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital when it opens on Feb. 7.
Constructors broke ground on Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital in October 2016. The project was delivered by Plenary Health along with partners PCL Constructors Canada Inc., Stantec and Johnson Controls.
Located near Jane Street and Major Mackenzie Drive, the approximately $1.6-billion, 1.2-million-square-foot hospital will serve the southwestern part of the rapidly growing region including Vaughan, Richmond Hill and King.
The project reached substantial completion in August.
In order to help combat COVID-19, the hospital will add 35 new critical care beds and 150 medical beds to the province’s bed capacity.
Health Minister Christine Elliott says some Toronto hospitals are already transferring patients to Kingston, Ont,. and Niagara Region to help ease crowding.
The province says that once the COVID-19 capacity pressures have stabilized, the new Vaughan hospital will provide care to patients in York Region as originally planned.
With the addition of Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, Mackenzie Health will offer full-service emergency departments and medicine and surgery programs at two hospitals, Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital and Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital. Some specialized care programs will be delivered by one of the facilities, such as the Woman and Child program at Cortellucci and the inpatient Rehabilitation and Complex Continuing Care programs in Richmond Hill.
Overall, the province also says it will spend $125 million to create 500 additional beds to deal with the latest virus surge which it has warned could overwhelm hospitals.
— With files from The Canadian Press