New Hospital Just Mediocre: Reader

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Bulldog contributor Suzanne Mooney is disappointed with the new Civic campus hospital:

There are two points about which I wonder;

1. Why is the federal government giving national land, under any circumstances, to only one of Ottawa’s hospitals?

2. There was a fantastic opportunity to do, not only the right thing but something demonstrating leadership and brilliance; build a hospital for the 21st century, incorporating all types services available in the national capital, at LeBreton Flats. Link it with the University of Ottawa Medical School; make it multilingual, engage all the centres of excellence; the heart institute, the cancer institute; palliative care; distance medicine … all the wonderful tools of the future.

Take up the offer of architect Moshe Safdie, who volunteered his services to his McGill alma mater to design a hospital for the future. The look would have echoed the National Gallery and the Parliament Hill complex; the effect would be future and lasting.

But no, the short-sightedness and political self-interest of local pols drag us down once more into mediocrity.

 


 

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5 thoughts on “New Hospital Just Mediocre: Reader

  1. Suzanne,
    I, too, question a giveaway of federal land unless the feds plan on providing land for hospitals or other community projects across the country. This has left them open to requests for which they will have a hard time justifying a refusal. It’s not clear yet, though, if it’s an outright gift or a lease arrangement like the Queensway-Carleton Hospital has.

    I’m not sure what you’re basing your second point on – we don’t know what the hospital building will look like or what it will incorporate. All that’s been decided is the location – it could be very architecturally interesting in that location overlooking Dow’s Lake, the Arboretum and Commissioner’s Park.

    There was never an opportunity to put it at LeBreton. The U of O medical school is already located beside the General campus of the Ottawa Hospital (OH) and its students are integrated now into the Civic campus. The Heart Institute, now co-located with the Civic, will be two blocks away and, with the hospital relocation, will have room to grow. The OH Cancer Centre is located in the east end at the General campus and the west end is served by the Cancer Centre at the Queensway-Carleton Hospital – do we need another one?
    Palliative care is offered at Bruyere in Lowertown – that could be expanded but is a tertiary care hospital the best place for it?

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  2. Regardless of ere the Civic campus is located, it will, like all Ottawa Hospital facilities, be closely tied to the medical school. The Ottawa Hospital is a teaching hospital, which is why half the time when I go to get my bladder cancer dealt with, I’ve got med students and residents staring at my junk.

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  3. My biggest surprise on this “debate” about the new hospital is the lack of forward thinking. The hospital admin and board keep talking about a 100-year facility. But I have failed to hear even one thought on what changes in the future will mean for “a 100-year facility”. For example, how long will we have cars that need to be parked? What will that look like even in 20-30 years from now (only 10-20 years after the hospital is actually built). The world will look much different, but we seem to be planning for today.

    Second example. Everyone complains that Parkdale Avenue is a disaster and so Tunney’s wasn’t a good option. If it’s a disaster, what are the City’s plans for fixing it? If even now, it’s a huge problem, it needs a solution. Whether it’s the hospital or the new development originally planned, something needs to be done with it. If the City needs to fix Parkdale anyways, it could have been done to accommodate a hospital (but never mind!).

    Unfortunately, it’s not surprising that so little (no?) vision has been evident, and it’s hard to regard the new facility with civic pride as worthy of dealing with our grandchildren’s grandchildren.

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    1. Alf, we haven’t had meaningful leadership in this city for more than a decade, and dare I say in the province or country for decades.

      We have elected officials who:
      – respond to loud noises (cycling lobby?) rather than look at what is required;
      – chase votes with Other Peoples’ Money (OPM – sound it out);
      – prefer to divert the attention of the undermanned media and general populace like a third-rate conjurer with a handful of pixy dust, rather than answer the question that was asked;
      – react to what is presented (development industry) to them, rather than develop and execute a plan.

      Of course, how can one develop a plan if one lacks a vision?

      Respectfully yours,

      Ron Benn,
      Member emeritus
      Cynics Club.

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