Plans are being debated for the expansion of the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital; including the possibility of moving it.

Stretchers in the hallways, an overflowing emergency room, other care in renovated portables and staff offices in a separate building. C.E.O Guy Chartrand says the hospital is out of space.

“Our emergency department at peaks are looking after 140 to 150 people per day. That’s a lot of people when it was probably designed for at least half those numbers.”

The hospital was built to serve about 60,000 people but there’s another 30,000 in the region on the weekends.

A review four years ago said 70% of the infrastructure was already out-of-date, now planning is underway about what to do with the hospital.

“Are we going to renovate? Are we going to add? Do we have to basically bring the building down? Can we build a new building on these headquarters and or do we look at the Greenfield site?” adds Chartrand.

The goal is to figure out what the hospital needs for the next 30 years. Those findings will be presented to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the North Simcoe Muskoka Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).

The plan is to have all options on the table by next winter and then it will be up to the LHIN and the Ministry to make the final decision. But options have already started to take shape as to if there is a new hospital where it should be built.

Wasaga Beach Mayor Brian Smith wants to see a new hospital and he has a definite idea of where it should be built.

“I would absolutely love to see the hospital come to Wasaga beach. Would I like to see it in the east end? No, I would like to see it out by Highway 26 so it is central to the region,” says Smith.

Collingwood Mayor Sandra Cooper says it’s too soon to pick locations for a new hospital.

“My focus is providing excellent health care services for the residents of the area and visitors.”

While the initial process is expected to take 12 months, it will likely be several years before a renovation or new hospital is built.

If you would like to voice your opinion, a public meeting will be held on April 16th at the Stayner Community Centre.