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Area hospital could be delayed: health ministry

A hospital promised for Vaudreuil-Dorion could be delayed by the current Parti-Québécois government, a spokesperson for the health ministry told The Gazette.

Ariane Lareau, a spokesperson for health minister Réjean Hébert said it’s still too soon to say whether the hospital will be delayed. However, she said the previous Liberal government made too many promises without thinking about how they will be paid for.

“We can’t do all the projects at the same time. That’s why we have to prioritize,” Lareau said. “It’s not a question that this isn’t an important project, but these are all important projects.”

Residents have been demanding a hospital for several years, since the closest facilities are at least a 20-minute drive away either in Valleyfield or Pointe Claire. Many residents are frustrated with long wait times at those hospitals, so they have been travelling to Alexandria and Hawkesbury, in Ontario, to get treatment there.

A 243-bed hospital was announced in 2010, and the planning was progressing well over the last few months of the previous government’s mandate. In July, the government announced it had determined a spot to build the $40-million facility and planned to make that spot public in September or October. Yves Bolduc, health minister at the time, said the hospital was on track to be completed by 2018.

A site for the hospital was said to be chosen over the summer, and the announcement of the site was supposed to be made in September or October.

While the hospital is still in the planning stages, any delays will ultimately effect the delivery date, since it takes about four years to do the preparatory work, and another two years for the actual construction.

Yvon Marcoux, the MNA for Vaudreuil, said he’s not concerned the new government is stalling on the project.

“This really is a priority for the region, and it has been recognized by the health ministry,” Marcoux said. “It’s normal for a new government to take some time to get up to speed with the files.”

That being said, however, he and Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois have requested a meeting with Hébert to discuss the hospital.

jmagder@montrealgazette.com
Twitter: @OffIslandNews
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