Provincial budget confirmed good news for WLMH

By Julia Kamula

“A new hospital is on the way!,” Premier Doug Ford announced at West Lincoln Memorial in November. His commitment was reinforced again last week in the government’s first budget, appropriately entitled Protecting What Matters Most. It’s a very welcome commitment, given the long history of neglect and underfunding the hospital has faced from past governments.

We are thankful to be planning the rebuild and talking with our provincial government partners about getting shovels in the ground as soon as possible. The fact is we cannot wait any longer. The single most important thing we can do to keep the hospital open and thriving for years to come is rebuild it – and soon. Every day it gets harder to manage the risk of trying to provide modern health care in a crumbling 75-year-old building.

For several months, our physicians and administrators have been working together, to assess the hospital services most affected by the aged facility and explore how we might safely continue to provide these services until the new building is open. These issues are serious and work continues to address them. Our first priority must always be the safety of our patients and staff.

Despite the challenges, we are committed to doing everything in our power to plan and build a new WLMH that is home to the services the community has told us are most important: a 24-hour Emergency Department, obstetrics, and surgery, backed up by outpatient clinics and diagnostic services.

We all look forward to the day when we can cut the ribbon on a new WLMH. No matter what obstacles we face today, it’s the long game that is most important. We know there’s going to be a wonderful new hospital to serve the West Niagara community. We look forward to the continued planning that will get us to that bright day when we can welcome everyone to the new WLMH.

Julia Kamula is the Chair of the Hamilton Health Sciences Board of Directors

A message from HHS’ CEO and Board Chair

Hamilton Health Sciences welcomes you to our new website, which will provide regular updates as we plan for the rebuilding of our West Lincoln Memorial Hospital (WLMH) site.

This is an exciting time for our West Niagara communities. Premier Doug Ford has committed to a new hospital and has also provided funding to help maintain the current facility until we can cut the ribbon on a new one.

We know there is a lot of planning work ahead and it is critical that the community be involved throughout the process. We’re committed to keeping this website active with regular updates.

We will also be creating a feedback portal where you can directly provide input or ask any questions. Be sure to check back often to receive the latest updates!

We care deeply about our staff and physicians, patients and our community. We are excited to work closely with you to ensure West Niagara continues to receive the best possible care in the months and years to come.

Rob MacIsaac, President & CEO
Julia Kamula, Board Chair

A new hospital is coming soon

It was the news we were all waiting for when Premier Doug Ford announced “A new hospital is coming soon,” at our West Lincoln Memorial site in November.

On a tour of the building that morning, Premier Ford underscored his commitment by signing it onto a white board, leading staff to joke that they would never allow his writing to be erased.

Premier Ford’s commitment is a significant milestone. We are at an important juncture in West Lincoln Memorial’s history. People are understandably passionate about a hospital where their babies are born, where their neighbours work and where their aging parents receive medical care.

For many months, our community has been passionately involved in a discussion about the future of our facility. Residents raised concerns about the possibility of services being relocated. Others have asked questions about staff resources and the feasibility of keeping the hospital open.

Without a doubt, the aging facility faces a number of challenges. Its crumbling infrastructure gives rise to concerns about our ability to continue indefinitely providing safe care. As a health care provider, our first priority has to always be our patients and the quality of care we provide.

That is why we were so incredibly thankful for Premier Ford’s additional investment of $8.5 million in our current facility. This funding will help to maintain our existing facilities, including the cooling and heating, plumbing and electrical systems, while we do the planning for a new hospital.

Premier Ford also acknowledged the importance of maintaining existing surgical and obstetric services onsite at West Lincoln Memorial Hospital during the transition period to a new facility.

I want to assure you that we are working closely with our dedicated staff and physicians to deliver on the Premier’s commitment.

We know there is still a lot of work to be done and we are looking forward to West Lincoln Memorial’s future. You have my promise that we will listen carefully to feedback from our community as planning for the new hospital proceeds.

We care deeply about our staff and physicians, patients and our community. Thank you for making your voices heard and for advocating so passionately – you have helped secure the future of WLMH.

Rob MacIsaac
President and CEO, Hamilton Health Sciences