The Vaudreuil Soulanges regional government says the Quebec government is running out of time to choose a site for a new hospital for the region.
The regional body has selected seven potential sites, and the health ministry was set to confirm one last fall, but the new hospital appears to have fallen off the radar screen of the new Parti Québécois government.
The prefect of Vaudreuil Soulanges convened a press conference Wednesday to reiterate his concern about any delays in the hospital file.
“We need to have a site confirmed by the end of March,” Robert Sauvé said, adding that delaying the process longer than that would mean the hospital would no longer be built in 2018, as promised.
Sauvé said he met with representatives for the health ministry in December to explain the situation. However, he wanted to put more political pressure on the PQ government, because he’s concerned that with all the expenditure cuts made during the budget process, that the hospital file could be left aside.
“The people here deserve a hospital,” he said. “We can’t always go to Ontario to get health care.”
As reported earlier this week, the number of visits by Quebecers to hospitals in Ontario is rising sharply. Figures from the health ministry show that during more than 11 years, from 2000 to 2011, Quebec shelled out 90.5 per cent more for its residents to get care at the Hawkesbury and District General Hospital. In that time, visits by Quebecers to the Hawkesbury hospital increased 50.6 per cent, from 5,882 visits to 8,860, costing the Quebec health ministry $1.3 million in 2011.