Lakeridge Health is taking the next step towards a new hospital in Durham by announcing that an independent panel of experts will be appointed to review the site selection.
President and CEO Cynthia Davis announced that Lakeridge has resumed work on the master plan priorities, including beginning the site selection process.
“As we navigate this third wave (the pandemic), we begin to focus again on system building as part of our vision of One System, Best Health,” Davis said in a statement. “As we resume this vital work, it will be critical that key insights into the pandemic and how it has changed medical and health care delivery impact the future development of the Lakeridge health system.”
Lakeridge hopes to add 1,000 new beds in both a new hospital location and an expanded hospital in Bowmanville over the next 25 years.
The Lakeridge Board of Trustees will appoint an independent panel of experts to oversee the site selection process. The committee is supported by an independent executive lead and a fairness advisor.
The panel will set criteria for evaluating each site proposed by interested parties and then make a recommendation to the Board of Trustees, which will then give the Minister of Health a recommendation on which site should be protected for a future hospital. Both Whitby and Oshawa have expressed an interest in housing the new hospital, as has the town of Pickering, west of Durham.
It is expected that Lakeridge will provide more details about the panel, selection process and timelines at a later date.
“This will benefit the entire Durham area and determine the future of a coordinated health system for generations to come,” said Sharon Cochran, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Lakeridge Health. “It will be important that the way forward is focused on unified support for a new hospital facility in the Durham area, the insights of other hospitals and the site requirements needed to support our master plan.”