Vaughan Residents Demand a Hospital for their Growing Community



    Poll results suggest a hospital will be an issue in the upcoming
    provincial election

    VAUGHAN, ON, April 12 /CNW/ - A new poll conducted by EKOS Research
Associates confirms that a significant majority of Vaughan residents want a
hospital built in their city, consider the establishment of a hospital an
extremely important issue, and believe it will play an important role in
determining how they vote in the upcoming provincial election.
    "We have been saying for years that Vaughan desperately needs a hospital
to ensure the residents have access to appropriate health care services where
they live," said Michael DeGasperis, Acting Chair and Vice President of the
Vaughan Health Care Foundation. "With a rapidly growing population approaching
300,000, Vaughan is the largest city in Canada without it's own hospital.
Through this poll, our residents are telling us that we need to begin planning
and development of a hospital to support the current and future population."

    
    Highlights from the survey of 751 adult residents of Vaughan included the
following:
    -  73% of residents believe that building a hospital in Vaughan is very
       important, with 61% stating that it is of extreme importance.
    -  68% of residents feel that a hospital needs to be located in Vaughan
       rather than in neighbouring municipalities to adequately serve the
       needs of the community.
    -  88% think a candidate's position on a Vaughan hospital will play a
       definite role in who they decide to vote for in the upcoming
       provincial election.
    

    "The data show a strong level of support for building a hospital in
Vaughan," said Ken LeClair of EKOS Research Associates. "Moreover, the numbers
saying that candidate positions on the issue will influence their vote,
suggest that it could play an important local role in this year's provincial
election."
    As the GTA population continues to increase, health care facilities
currently serving Vaughan residents are facing the challenge of meeting the
needs of residents of their own municipalities. This raises the prospect of
diminished levels of service for Vaughan residents now, and especially in the
future.
    "We are continuing to impress upon the provincial government that a
Vaughan hospital is urgently needed and is important to the residents," said
Angelo Baldassarra, President of the Foundation. "We need to start planning
today so that we don't fall into a health care crisis in the future. The
provincial government needs to invest more in the health of our community. We
need the support and approval of the provincial government for an acute care
hospital as soon as possible."
    The Vaughan Health Care Foundation will continue to engage the community
to build support for additional health care resources in Vaughan. In July 2006
the Foundation was awarded sponsorship of a new Vaughan Community Health
Centre, which will provide much needed primary health care services including
more physicians and nurse practitioners, and specialty areas such as
chiropody, physiotherapy and diabetes education. It will respond to major
areas of under-service including seniors, youth and mental health. The Vaughan
CHC will commence operations in late 2007.
    The Foundation is also working towards other initiatives that will bring
new and expanded care to Vaughan, including ambulatory care services and
urgent care.
    In January 2003, a task force of community and civic leaders was struck
to assess how best to bring additional health care resources to the community
of Vaughan. This Task Force then formed The Vaughan Health Care Foundation, a
volunteer driven charity, in early 2004. Since it's inception, the Foundation
has been working tirelessly towards its mission - To raise funds and obtain
the necessary approvals from Government to establish and support health care
facilities and services, including an acute care hospital for the City of
Vaughan.

    More information on the Foundation and its work can be found at
www.vaughanhealthcare.com.





For further information:

For further information: Chris Benedetti, (416) 961-6611 ext. 104

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VAUGHN HEALTH CARE FOUNDATION

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