Frequently Asked Questions

Why aren’t we just building a second hospital instead?

Building a new hospital is a provincial decision with many complex considerations. One influencing factor is the provincial and local capacity to support the project financially: provincial tax dollars only pay for 90% of the cost of the new build. This means that the community is responsible for 10% of the construction of a new hospital, plus ALL required patient care equipment — everything from thermometers and beds to diagnostic imaging equipment must be 100% community funded.

Right now, the best and most cost-effective solution is to expand the capacity key areas of Guelph General Hospital to meet the growing needs of our community, while also exploring other innovative community partnership models that help us meet our community’s healthcare and wellness needs in the most cost-efficient way possible.

Through funding and completing the projects outlined in the Together, We Care campaign, Guelph General Hospital will be able to meet the healthcare needs of our community today, and well into the future.

Does the province provide additional funding support to Hospital operations at the same rate as population growth?

Day-to-day funding for the Hospital is not keeping up with Guelph’s rapid growth. While we continue to work with our government to secure additional provincial funding, we still need to support our fantastic staff by ensuring they have the equipment needed to provide the highest quality care and experience for patients and their families for which we’re known. That’s where we depend on the support of our community, as every dollar spent on patient care equipment comes from a donor.

I’m already paying for hospitals with my tax dollars. Why do you need more money?

Unfortunately, tax dollars do not cover all of the costs that are related to running a community hospital. The provincial government expects communities to fundraise locally to fund essential needs including 100% of the cost of equipment that is used for patient care, as well as a portion of
capital projects such as our need to expand our Emergency Department.

We treat our responsibility to prudently manage both tax and donor dollars very seriously. Guelph General Hospital is one of the best-run hospitals in the province, according to independent sources. In our most recent Accreditation, we received Exemplary Status, averaging 98.4% across more than 2,000 individual standards including areas related to operations and cost efficiency. The Hospital’s financial statements are independently audited each year. In fact our efficiencies and quality systems are at such a high standard that they allow us to access maximum government funding to support the operation of the Hospital.

Why doesn’t St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Guelph handle some of the growing hospital demands?

Guelph’s two hospitals are designed to provide different, essential community healthcare services. The two organizations work closely together and community members are directed to the organization that will best meet their needs.

St. Joseph’s Health Centre Guelph offers a variety of specialised programs and services to support people of all ages. These include injury and stroke rehabilitation programs, palliative care and related end of life programs for patients and their families, and residential nursing care and personal support to patients with complex medical needs that cannot be met in the community or in a long term care facility.

Are we doing an effective job of diverting people from the Emergency Department to other healthcare partners in our community before we spend money on expanding the department?

The short answer is yes. The number of patients who are more ill is increasing, while the proportion of those who are less ill is decreasing. We are grateful to our primary care partners who are seeing patients in the community.

Are you fundraising for the “Cadillac” of hospital equipment when a more economical choice will do?

Fantastic innovations in healthcare technology is happening at a record pace, and are enabling faster and more precise diagnosis, improved patient comfort, quicker recovery and an overall better patient care experience. By purchasing the most advanced equipment we can afford, hospital staff
can do the best job possible, as efficiently as possible, so that they can spend as much of their time as they are able working directly with patients.

The best possible equipment also enables us to attract the most qualified healthcare professionals and physicians to Guelph General Hospital to support the best care experience for our patients.

Before each purchase, a comprehensive assessment, planning, and due diligence process is in place to ensure we are purchasing the equipment we need, at the best price we can negotiate. We participate in a number of provincial group purchasing plans.

Will you be adding new jobs with this money? What good is the new equipment and space if we don’t have the staff to provide the care?

Provincial funding covers all staffing for hospitals, and these personnel costs cannot come from community fundraising. Guelph General Hospital’s staffing requirements are assessed and funded through its annual operating budget. As the demands on our hospital grow, our Hospital team advocates with the Ministry of Health for funding.

Donors do play a role in staffing indirectly, however: the best possible equipment enables us to attract the best possible, most qualified healthcare professionals and physicians to Guelph General Hospital to support the best care experience for our patients.

Parking at the hospital is already insufficient and you say you’re growing. What are you doing about that?

This is definitely an issue, and improving access to parking is a priority: in 2019 the parking lot was reorganized which added 60 spots, and hospital staff are currently looking at alternatives including valet parking, off-site parking for students, and changing times of clinics and meetings to ease the demand for parking during peak times.