Greg Rickford is throwing his full support behind the eventual All Nations Hospital project in Kenora. The first phase of planning for the new facility was approved by the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care last week, and Rickford is looking forward to moving the planning phase forward with the province.

“We’re very confident in the path forward. We believe that this is an opportunity to more fully-integrate and appreciate the current demands on the health-care system in Kenora,” said the Kenora Rainy – River MPP.

The Lake of the Woods District Hospital and the Kenora Chiefs Advisory are leading the planning efforts, along with community partners. The planning phase is expected to take up to two years, and the hospital will take at least six years to build, if all project phases receive provincial approval.

“It’s long-overdue, the hospital is functionally-obsolete, and it needs to be modernized for the benefit of the people in the city and the surrounding area,” Rickford added. The Lake of the Woods District Hospital was established in 1929.

The All-Nations Hospital will be an eventual replacement of the Lake of the Woods District Hospital, and it aims to ensure that Kenora and the First Nations communities in the region have better access to health-care, using new technologies and cultural sensitivity.

The hospital will follow a similar model to that of the Meno-Ya-Win Health Centre in Sioux Lookout, such as using traditional and modern medicines and practices, as well as involving community partners and First Nation representation on their board.

Despite the proposed similarities, Rickford says that the federal government needs to get on-board with the All Nations Hospital in Kenora, like they were in Sioux Lookout.

“Our biggest concern right now is the federal government is nowhere to be seen on their contributions to help us get there. We will be turning up the pressure in hopes that our local MP and the federal government will come to the table. We can’t build the kind of asset we’re looking for unless the federal government is there in a meaningful way, like they were in Sioux Lookout. Their level of engagement needs to increase.”

The All Nations hospital currently does not have an approved location. Hospital President and CEO Ray Racette says that the planning committee will look at creating a completely new addition that will be connected to the existing hospital, as there are advantages to keep the existing site, but staff will also look at building the hospital in a brand new location.

Racette helped merge Morden and Winkler’s aging hospitals into a singular building earlier in his career. 

For more information:
First phase of All Nations Hospital approved
New hospice space coming to DRHC

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