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Message to our community on changes at Branson

North York General Hospital's mission is to provide exceptional health care to our diverse communities. To do so, we must continue to assess how, why and where we provide the services we do, and adapt to our dynamic health care environment. As such, we have determined that we will not be renewing our lease at the Branson Ambulatory Care Centre in 2019, and we will begin to transition services from that site.

There are several reasons for us to transition out of the Branson site. Buildings of this vintage require ongoing investment to upgrade infrastructure and meet new standards. North York General Hospital does not own the Branson facility. Rather, we lease the facility from the Advent Corporation, a lease that expires in 2019. Given that we do not own this building, and Advent has extensive redevelopment plans for the site, it would not be prudent for us to use public dollars to continue to invest in this building.

A primary concern in coming to this decision was to ensure the residents of the local community have the health care services they need. In order to ascertain whether our services met the needs of the Branson community, North York General recently conducted a telephone survey within the catchment area. Through the survey, we learned that the hospital's General site was the health care facility most visited among the catchment residents. We also know that the majority of patients who visit the specialized clinics such as the Gale and Graham Wright Prostate Centre and the Cataract High Volume Centre do not reside in the catchment area. The Branson Ambulatory Care Centre is therefore not an optimal location for all of those we serve and so we are exploring other places to provide these services.

In light of the need for ongoing redevelopment, the expiration of the lease, and our community's health care needs, we have therefore begun to plan for the transfer of services over the next two years. In the short term, you will see the following changes:

  • As of June 1, 2017, we will be closing the Urgent Care Centre and transitioning our staff to the General site's Charlotte & Lewis Steinberg Emergency. Any patients seeking care for urgent medical concerns or injuries should visit our Charlotte & Lewis Steinberg Emergency at the General site. Any other primary care needs are well-served by a number of community physicians and walk-in clinics. We are also encouraging patients and families to learn more about health care in their community by visiting the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care's Health Care Options or by visiting the Central Local Health Integration Network's Centralhealthline.ca

  • Closure of the retail pharmacy in March 2017, which is underused with low prescription volumes and high operating costs. Patients and families are encouraged to use one of the many drug stores nearby or the Outpatient Pharmacy located at the General site (4001 Leslie Street) to fill prescriptions.

NYGH is appreciative of the lease arrangement we have had with Advent for the last 19 years. We understand they are committed to continuing to provide a venue for care and partnering with quality health care service providers to meet the needs of the community as they develop their campus into a seniors' living and care community.

We understand you may have more questions about the transition. Please visit our website to find out the latest information about Branson or feel free to send an email to question@nygh.on.ca. We will do our best to respond in a timely manner. Please note that this email is to address questions related to Branson Ambulatory Care Centre. To provide feedback about your experiences at NYGH including compliments, concerns, questions and suggestions, please contact patientexperience@nygh.on.ca.

In closing, I would like to assure the members of the communities we serve, and our patients and families that their best health care interests are foremost in our decision-making. We remain committed to providing exceptional health care throughout the transition and will put our patients and families first in everything we do.

Best regards,

Tim Rutledge
President & CEO
 
March 1, 2017