Guelph General Hospital getting $15M for new emergency department

The front entrance to Guelph General Hospital is pictured on Monday, Aug. 17, 2015. (Allison Tanner / CTV Kitchener)

The Ontario government is giving Guelph General Hospital more than $15 million to redevelop its emergency department.

Monday's announcement said the funding will be used to expand the hospital's services, and specifically, its mental health care.

According to a media release, more than 60,000 patients visit Guelph General Hospital's ER department every year.

"With Guelph being one of the fastest growing cities in the province, there's a need to grow the department," said Marianne Walker, the president and CEO of Guelph General Hospital, in the release. "We are so grateful for this funding as this first phase will expand our undersized emergency department. Once complete, it will help improve the health and well-being of our patients needing mental health and addiction services."

In the first phase of the redevelopment, the province said mental health and addiction services will be relocated so they can expand and connect services for patients. That would include a new short-stay assessment unit which will provide "increased assessment, monitoring and treatment of adult patients experiencing psychiatric emergencies, and a new emergency follow-up service that will increase individual and group counselling to help stabilize patients prior to being discharged and reduce readmissions."

The province said it is working with the hospital to determine "service volumes, programming, operational and space requirements and assessing how the project can meet the health care needs of patients and families in the region."

No date has been set for the completion of the project.