The plan to create a six bed hospice in Southern Grey Bruce is moving ahead.
On Wednesday, local MPPs Bill Walker (Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound) and Lisa Thompson (Huron-Bruce) made the announcement at Chapman House in Owen Sound.
Like Chapman House, the Southern Grey Bruce Hospice will be part of the Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce organization.
The initial announcement of government funding for six beds was made by the previous Liberal Government of Ontario back in April of 2018.
Bruce Grey Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker says "Everyone should have access to dignified end-of-life care that respects the wishes of the patient and their loved ones," noting "That's why I'm proud our government is committed to improving access to comfortable, end-of-life care in communities across the province like Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound."
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson says "We are fortunate to have such a local
dedicated team of volunteers from the Brockton, Mildmay, Walkerton, Hanover, and surrounding area. They have worked so very hard to make this happen. It is because of their leadership and commitment that we are able to announce this today."
It hasn't been decided if the new six bed hospice will be housed in a renovated building or if it will be a new building altogether.
One-time funding from the government is roughly $200,000 for each bed.
MPP Bill Walker's office says Ontario is investing nearly $33.6 million to build 193 new hospice beds across the province and providing $20.3 million annually in operational funding.
Walker's office says the government is supporting an additional 15,000 new long-term care beds being added in the next five years.
Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce Executive Director Alex Hector says the wait list in the area for a hospice bed is 30 to 40 people at any given time.
Hector says there is still plenty of fundraising that needs to be done in order to outfit the hospice and pay for part of its operation.
The Grey Bruce community came together to raise $4.2 million to build Chapman House in Owen Sound which now serves people from all over the area.
This newly announced hospice will help to serve people in Southern Grey Bruce.
Next door in Huron County, there is currently one hospice bed at Tiverton Park Manor.
The next big fundraising event for the Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce is the Hike For Hospice on May 5th, 2019.
"It's our biggest fundraiser event across the region," says Alex Hector, who notes, last year's hike raised $175,000.