Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene To Be Divested To Penetanguishene General Hospital

    McGuinty Government Responds To Community Call For A Local Solution

    TORONTO, Aug. 28 /CNW/ -


    The Ontario government has approved a plan to transfer the regional and
provincial mental health programs of the Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene
(MHCP) to the board of the Penetanguishene General Hospital (PGH). The move is
part of the overall governance solution for health care services in the
Midland-Penetanguishene area that was proposed by Dr. Kevin Smith, supervisor
for the Huronia District Hospital (HDH).
    The restructuring also responds to the community's request to Dr. Kevin
Smith to ensure a local solution that includes no job loss and no loss of
health care workers and services from the region. All MHCP hospital services,
facilities and jobs will remain in the local communities, and all employees
will remain in the same physical locations.
    Today's announcement means that work can begin to realign existing
hospital programs and services from Penetanguishene General Hospital to the
Huronia District Hospital.
    The divestment of MHCP will move forward with a targeted completion of
December 15, 2008.


    "This is a step in the right direction for the people of Midland and
Penetanguishene," said David Caplan, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care.
"This restructuring helps to address the need for cooperative service delivery
and governance in the region."

    "These structures will ensure that the communities will not have to
revisit issues of integration or governance in the foreseeable future. This
will mean the capable staff of the hospitals can focus entirely on their
important role of delivering the best possible patient care," said Dr. Kevin
Smith, supervisor for Huronia District Hospital.

    "This plan is in keeping with our mandate to work with members of our
community to integrate health services and service delivery, to make health
services more accessible, and to help citizens and their families achieve
better health," said Jean Trimnell, Chief Executive Officer, North Simcoe
Muskoka Local Health Integration Network.

    "This is positive news. The board of Penetanguishene General Hospital is
pleased to continue its local service and excited to be moving into the mental
health field," said Carol Lambie, Chief Executive Officer, Penetanguishene
General Hospital. "Not only is the plan a local solution but it represents an
opportunity to carry on Catholic health care locally and benefit all
stakeholders, including patients, staff, the local communities, and Ontario's
health care system."

    "This is great news for Huronia District Hospital," said Dr. Alan
Stewart, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Huronia District Hospital. "The
approved plan celebrates and recognizes the important history of the Grey
Sisters and demonstrates a willingness to do what's best for the community and
the overall North Simcoe Hospital Alliance, by keeping both buildings open and
maintaining local hospital services in Midland and Penetanguishene," added


    -  The province began divesting provincial psychiatric hospitals in 1998.

    -  Mental Health Centre Penetanguishene (MHCP) is the 10th and last
       provincial psychiatric hospital to be divested to the public hospital

    -  In May 2007, the government announced a plan to replace the Oak Ridge
       building that houses the province's only maximum secure forensic


    Visit North Simcoe Hospital Alliance (
online and learn more about local hospital services.

    For public inquires call ServiceOntario, INFOline at 1-866-532-3161
    (Toll-free in Ontario only)
                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Steve Erwin, Minister's Office,
(416) 326-3986; Mark Nesbitt, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416)

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