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OSMH president pushing for new Orillia hospital to meet growing demand


"I would really like to see a new hospital as quickly as possible."

As the City of Orillia grows, Orillia Soldiers' Memorial Hospital's president and CEO Carmine Stumpo says it's time for a new hospital.

"It is the growth of our community that is really making our planning an urgent issue."

Stumpo is seeking a planning grant of roughly $3 million from the ministry to move forward with plans for a new facility.

On Friday, the hospital's president and his team pitched the idea at the District's Chamber of Commerce virtual meeting, with local politicians and business leaders in agreement.

"A new hospital is really needed for Orillia," said Oro-Medonte Mayor Harry Hughes.

"We see that our hospital is a little bit older. It's not modernized through the Places to Grow Act of 2005," added Allan Lafontaine, Orillia and District Chamber of Commerce executive director.

They say the hospital doesn't have enough space or beds to care for the growing and aging population adequately.

The latest census data reports the Orillia area is outpacing the province with about nine per cent growth.

Which, according to Simcoe North MP Adam Chambers, is a problem.

"We don't have the base-level infrastructure to support that population growth," said Chambers. "It's either not going to work, and we're not going to attract the people to begin with, like, how can you attract somebody to come to live in a part of Severn or Oro where they don't have high-speed internet?"

The Chamber of Commerce is rolling out its four pillars to grow and support the community, pushing for a new hospital, better internet in rural areas, more roads and economic development.

"It takes far too long for lands to be developed for business parks, for commerce, as well as housing," Lafontaine said.

"I think creating the conditions for municipalities to thrive is what's important for our region," noted Simcoe North MPP Jill Dunlop.

Stumpo estimates a new Orillia hospital could come with a price tag in the $800 million range.

"We are outgrowing the facility. That's probably our biggest risk," he noted.

Without a planning grant, Stumpo said it's too early to know where a new hospital would be located or when it could be ready. Top Stories

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