On the anniversary of the supposed handover of the Waterloo Region’s newest patient care wing, Patrick Gaskin, president and CEO of Cambridge Memorial Hospital (CMH), published an open letter to the community.
In his letter, Gaskin describes the frustration the hospital has with the two-year construction delay and answers some of the questions he has been asked by concerned members of the community. He also states the hospital has exercised all of its options in accordance to the project agreement. The hospital will be in a position to act decisively in December.
On November 28, CMH’s Board of Directors heard the handover of the new patient care wing will be delayed once again, with no date specified as to when the hospital will take possession.
Open letter to the community from Patrick Gaskin, president and CEO
Disappointed. Frustrating. Concerning. Unbelievable.
These are all appropriate words to describe the two-year delay of the much needed expansion of services at Cambridge Memorial Hospital. Everyone has waited long enough. Everyone deserves to know what we are doing to finish this project.
What is happening with construction on the site?
Months have passed with little construction work being done. Work slowed when subcontractors stopped coming on site. The subcontractors claimed they were not getting paid by the contractor. By September, Zurich Insurance got involved to settle their claims. Despite this intervention, there is minimal work at our site and we have not received a schedule that shows when we will get the new wing.
What is the hospital doing about it?
Since delays have started on our project, we issued a number of ‘notices of default.’ In August, we formally started a process that gave the contractor and lenders 120 days to remedy the situation. This period ends December 11.
What happens December 12?
If no steps are taken and we do not get a satisfactory strategy to complete the work, we have every intention of exercising our rights in the project agreement. This includes making a demand on the performance bond or, if necessary, terminating the contract. By exercising our options, this project will get finished.
Why was this contractor picked?
The hospital followed the government’s procurement process. Contractors and their project lenders were pre-qualified, and five teams were invited to submit proposals. The winning proposal received the highest score during the evaluation phase.
Will our community need to pay more?
We signed a contract in 2014 at a fixed price. Our position is that we will only pay the agreed upon amounts stated in the contract when certain milestones are met. The hospital has not yet had to pay for the construction of the new wing.
Last year, we were assured these delays would be overcome and that the entire project would be finished in 2019, just a few months behind the original schedule. As of today, we have no guaranteed completion date for the new wing, let alone a start date for the more complicated renovations of the current hospital.
This affects everyone! We cannot hire new staff and attract new physicians to expand much needed services. We cannot enhance the care we provide with the new, modern equipment that you, our generous community, have provided through the fundraising efforts.
Rest assured, we are committed to act so that this project can move forward and we will update you before the end of December on how we will proceed.