Survey Compares Travel Time to Proposed Mega-Hospital

The results of an online survey have been released looking at travel time and distances to a proposed mega-hospital for Windsor-Essex.

The Mega-Hospital Challenge involved a cellphone app to let people compare how far they are now from existing hospital facilities in the area to the proposed site for the Acute Care Facility on County Rd. 42 at the 9th Concession, not far from Windsor Airport.

Group Lead Doug Sartori says they tracked close to 3,000 uses of the app in the first ten days after it was launched.

He says they found some differences in times and distances.

"Those who were farther away have an average trip of 6 km farther, taking an extra five minutes. To give you the other side of the coin, the 40% of users who have a shorter trip to the proposed location saved less than four minutes and the trips are a little bit less than 4 km shorter," says Sartori.

He says the time saving to (Essex) county areas may not be as great as people anticipated.

"When we started to look in the early days at different areas and travel time from different parts of the county, what we found is that it's really difficult to find any place in Essex County that saves more than ten minutes going to the County Rd. 42 location," says Sartori.


Workforce Windsor-Essex Board President Doug Sartori. January 2018 (Photo by AM800's Teresinha Medeiros)

He says the overall goal is to provide data to the public.

"I think its a really good for us to have some numbers to look at as we talk about what parts of the community may be gaining and what parts of the community may be losing," says Sartori. "I think that is a great element to include in discussions going forward."

The app does not take into account the time it would take for an ambulance to travel to the new hospital location or the addition of a new Urgent Care Centre downtown, which is part of the overall plan to build a new hospital.

Sartori says the website was developed using data sourced from TravelTime Platform — a third-party supplier of drive time estimates.

Windsor Regional Hospital CEO David Musyj released a statement regarding the app after it was first launched:

 "The app unfortunately slants the results by assuming you are going to be attending the closest current hospital from where you live    regardless of your medical issue. That is the major issue with our current acute healthcare configuration in Windsor-Essex. We do not have two general hospitals in Windsor. We have one hospital over two campuses. Many services are segregated to a specific campus. Cancer, Women's and Children’s, trauma, cardiac, stroke and on and on. As a result it makes your current trip from where you live artificially shorter. The new acute will house all services and be closer for residents of our region. You do not need an app for that."

The public is invited to learn more about the results of the online survey during an event Thursday, March 14 at 7pm at the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator at 1501 Howard Ave.