By Jenn Watt
The board of Haliburton Highlands Health Services is moving forward with an alternative plan for its palliative care centre after a request for a minor variance from Dysart et al was rejected.
On July 13, the board had a meeting discussing the setback and work is already underway to adjust the plan, said board chairman John Kay.
“We have another site within the complex that we’re looking at,” he said.
“We’re confident we’re going ahead. The community wants it, the community needs it, the community is going to get it. They’ve got our total commitment from that respect.”
According to a press release from HHHS, the ministry of health granted approval for the corporation to tender the construction of the palliative centre as of July 2.
Kay said he can’t comment on how long it might take to move forward with the alternative scenario, but he said he hoped it wouldn’t be long.
“I just want to reassure the public that this project is going ahead,” Kay said.
“We’re confident that we have a viable alternative proposal that will go forward and will go forward quickly.”
A substantial amount has already been raised by the community for the palliative centre – an indication of how passionate the community is about having enhanced end-of-life care.
The chairman couldn’t comment on whether a second plan would incur any new costs, but pointed out that with large infrastructure projects it’s common to bump into planning issues along the way.
“We’re not the least bit negative about it. We’re moving forward positively. We’re going to have a palliative care unit. It’s that simple,” he said.
He expects to have an update on the project by the next HHHS board meeting, which is scheduled for September.