Redesign may overhaul TEGH

Toronto East General Hospital is encouraging the community to get even more involved with its redevelopment plans.

The hospital has budgeted $210 million toward the construction of an eight-storey building that will make caring for patients easier and more cost-effective.

One of the key components of the plan is a two-level underground parking garage. This will increase the amount of parking spaces and reduce traffic congestion in the area.

Inside the hospital as it stands, the current flow from one department to another is disorganized, and patients can be required to travel throughout the hospital for necessary services. The new plan involves a well-organized “racetrack” design with the nurses’ stations in centralized locations. This will enable faster response times for patients.

City councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon of neighbouring Ward 32 was part of a Tuesday tour offered by the hospital to educate the community about the redevelopment and why it’s necessary.

“The plans look dynamite,” she said. “Something needs to be done.”

The redevelopment has yet to be approved by the provincial government. And the design will also need official plan and zoning bylaw permissions followed by city council’s approval.

In the budget, the hospital has allotted for 90 per cent of the cost to be funded by the province and $60 million to be covered by fundraising.

TEGH and the Neighbourhood Advisory Committee are convening several community meetings throughout the year. This has opened a dialogue with the public to discuss the redevelopment, hospital updates and concerns they may have.

“Great tour, they’ve gone above and beyond community consultation,” McMahon said.

She acknowledged that a common concern for the community is disruption because of construction. But she said that the general consensus is that changes to the hospital are necessary.

“Most of the community is happy, as I am,” McMahon said.

She added that this is her community hospital and it’s a big part of the betterment of the neighbourhood.

“Health is wealth,” she said.