Thank you for coming today to allow me to provide an update on the Hamilton Health Centre.
The Health Centre has been under stress over the past month due to a number of structural problems with the facility and, most recently, for example, three floods at the Hamilton Health Centre, water quality issues, and several unsuccessful attempts to resolve the problems. The fire at Warwick Clinic further compounded the demands placed on our resources.
Department of Health management and staff, along with the Ministry of Public Works, are working together to find the cause of the continued problem, in order to restore operations at the Health Centre.
Today, staff gathered outside the Health Centre to air their concerns with management. The meeting could not be held indoors because the building is not operational, but an open and frank discussion was held with executive management and we truly appreciate their concerns.
The primary challenge is that the maintenance teams have been unable to fully repair the problems and restore the facility to minimum operations. Staff and management are equally concerned about the impact on our patients, and the uncertainty of service provision. We are working to stabilize services in relocated venues.
There are also concerns with previous structural problems and repairs underway which are not yet completed and were disrupting services before the Health Centre closure. We are now expediting these repairs to ensure they can be completed as quickly as possible.
We appreciate staff frustration as this has been going on over this period of time and there is no end in sight at this moment. We are deeply appreciative of their patience and share their primary concern with the impact on patients and the public.
In the longer term, the Ministry and Government will have to reconsider the adequacy of the Health Centre to meet the needs of public health services. This will be an ongoing discussion, but at this moment the priority is stabilizing services to the public and restoring the Hamilton Health Centre to be operational as soon as possible.
Further announcements will be made on the relocation of services while the repairs are conducted.