The Government of Ontario has announced the province’s first newly built hospital in more than 30 years will open early next month and it will be dedicated to COVID-19 patients.
At a press conference on January 18, Premier Doug Ford said that Mackenzie Health’s Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital is scheduled to open on February 7, 2021.
When the hospital first opens, it will be used exclusively to support the province’s COVID-19 response.
“The Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital is the first newly built hospital in three decades and this net new capacity will be critical until we are in a position to widely administer vaccines across the province,” Premier Ford said in a release.
The province said that while the new hospital temporarily focuses on the pandemic response, the Emergency Department at Mackenzie Richmond Hill Hospital will remain open.
Program transfers planned for Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, such as Woman and Child, Inpatient Mental Health and Inpatient Integrated Stroke, will not proceed at this time.
Initially, Cortellucci Vaughan will provide a total of 185 beds, including over 35 critical care beds and 150 general medicine beds.
These will support patients from other hospitals and alleviate hospital capacity pressures caused by the ongoing pandemic, the government said.
Once COVID-19 capacity pressures have stabilized, the new hospital will pivot to provide care and services to patients from across the western York Region.
When fully open to the public, Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital will include emergency and modern surgical services, as well as advanced diagnostic imaging capabilities, intensive care beds, medicine, birthing, pediatrics, and mental health services.
The York Region District Stroke Centre will also be located at the hospital.
The Government of Ontario said it has been working with its hospital partners since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to create additional capacity and be able to “respond to any scenario.”
“Our government is using every tool at our disposal to support our hospitals as they respond to COVID-19,” said Health Minister Christine Elliott.
“We will continue to work together with all our hospitals and health care partners to care for those affected by this deadly virus.”
In addition to reallocating beds at Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital, the provincial government also announced that it is providing up to $125 million to immediately add over 500 critical care and high-intensity medicine beds to hospitals in areas with high rates of COVID-19 transmission.
As well, part of the Reopening Ontario Act has been amended so that hospitals can temporarily redeploy healthcare workers to other facilities or retirement homes that urgently need additional support.