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Tunney’s Pasture: Not a Win for Patients

November 29, 2016 The Board of Governors of The Ottawa Hospital has a fiduciary responsibility to represent the health needs of the community it serves. The board recognizes the efforts of the federal government to help the hospital find a solution to its aging Civic Campus. After hearing from the patients and citizens of the National Capital Region and eastern Ontario, and after completing our own analysis of the NCC report, we cannot in good faith support Tunney’s Pasture as the future location for the Civic Campus. As a result, last night at a meeting of the Board, the Governors unanimously passed a motion to not support the NCC Board recommendation.

We remain concerned about the access, costs and timelines of locating a major hospital at Tunney’s Pasture.

  1. Access: Given that The Ottawa Hospital has over a million patient visits annually, we cannot impose a greater access burden on our patients and their families who arrive at our hospital by car.
  2. Costs: The costs of demolishing buildings, displacing public servants and preparing the land at Tunney’s Pasture are significant. We cannot impose this financial burden on our fundraising community that has supported us for decades, or ask taxpayers to step into their place. We do not serve our patients’ best interests by choosing an option that inflates the cost of a new hospital at a time when health-care dollars are so scarce.
  3. Timelines: We cannot support an option that would jeopardize completing a new Civic Campus in the next 10 years. There are other options that enable the hospital and community to meet this 10-year timeline. Time is of the essence, given the aging facility and its impact on the hospital’s ability to deliver 21st-century health care.

Any of these concerns taken individually is serious enough but, taken together, these three concerns pose a risk we cannot pass on to our patients and the community at large. We look forward to continuing these discussions with  the NCC and all levels of government on next steps.

James McCracken
Chair of the Board of Governors, The Ottawa Hospital