Health centre project: information key to understanding
The 19th century was a remarkable period in Montreal’s history, a time when concern for public health care led to the creation of two of North America’s premier hospitals—the Montreal General and the Royal Victoria—and the establishment of the first medical school on the continent.
In 1903 and 1904 respectively, the Montreal Chest Institute and the Montreal Children’s Hospital were founded, providing citizens with unsurpassed specialized care. Thirty years later, the Montreal Neurological Hospital was established.
These institutions have several things in common. They all provide first-rate care, bring together extremely talented and dedicated medical and health-care professionals and researchers, are affiliated with McGill University and form the McGill University Health Centre. They will all be part of the new health campus planned for the Glen site.
One of the most noteworthy characteristics shared by these institutions is that each of them was built at a time when the use of computer technology was little more than science fiction. They were also built before antibiotic treatments were introduced and prior to the development of modern imaging equipment and the introduction of modern trauma treatments.
That the MUHC’s institutions have undergone extensive and costly renovations over the years is a fact. That the people who work there continue to provide the best care possible is another fact. That the buildings cannot cost-effectively be transformed to accommodate the requirements of 21st century health care is also true.
Given the dramatic and ongoing evolution in the delivery of care and the exigencies of a university teaching hospital, the positive impact of the MUHC’s single-site project will be as significant and long-lasting as that made by its founding partners.
And just as Montrealers debated the merits of building and then moving the Montreal General and the Montreal Children’s hospitals to their present sites, so too are they rightly debating the merits of the MUHC’s Glen project.
Montrealers need all the facts to understand the implications of this bold move forward.
A major stumbling block to establishing an informed dialogue has been the challenge of presenting both the large and detailed pictures of a project as multi-layered and complex as this one.
This public information column is made possible by the generosity of an MUHC Foundation benefactor and the collaboration of The Gazette. It is an unparalleled opportunity to reach The Gazette’s readership, provide answers, respond to concerns, and to lay out the vision and benefits of the new health centre.
The writers who will be sharing their thoughts with you are the very same doctors, nurses, caregivers and technicians whose commitment to superior quality health-care benefits patients every day and has earned the MUHC an enviable reputation in North America.
You will also hear from researchers, professors, residents and patients. These men and women will provide insiders' perspectives on how health care is evolving and how the MUHC is working to meet the challenges of providing excellent care in that environment.
They will also talk about the advantages that a modern health centre can deliver to their particular field and to the overall service and care provided to all patients.
For years, our health-care practitioners have watched other cities in the country and elsewhere act on the need to build modern structures that can accommodate current and future technologies and provide an environment for the emotional and physical needs of their patients.
Now they are working to design a new health centre that will allow them to provide these same advantages.
A project of this magnitude requires the efforts of countless volunteers and project champions. It demands private and public sector cooperation. But above all, complete success can only be achieved if the result is greeted with enthusiasm and understanding by our community.
To that end, we encourage you to write and call us, to visit our web site and to read this column every week.
Published by the MUHC Foundation in The Gazette