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Prince County Hospital Foundation buys land for future development

The Prince County Hospital Foundation has purchased more than four hectares of land next to the hospital that may be used to expand the facility.

Gordon MacFarlane, the foundation’s president of the volunteer board of directors, said the purchase is for “whatever kind of future growth activities were needed for the betterment of Prince County Hospital.”

This follows some moves by the foundation to secure housing — including a recent investment in a duplex and renting multiple apartments — used by travelling health-care professionals.

MacFarlane said the land plans are still in the early stages, but the hospital may be looking to partner with the province and the University of Prince Edward Island.

“We know that UPEI is going to have some needs in Summerside, Prince County Hospital is going to continue to expand and need more space and our foundation has [been] seeing the need for housing and child care,” MacFarlane said.

“We have hopes that, eventually, that land will be able to secure a number of these needs under one roof.”

Potentially, the land would hold a campus that would house space for the hospital for training purposes, space for UPEI, and residential and child-care areas, he said.

a white man is seen in front of a building . he has short cut hair and is wearing a grey short sleeved shirt
Gordon MacFarlane, the Prince County Hospital Foundation’s president of the volunteer board of directors, says the land could be used for multiple things. (Sheehan Desjardins/CBC)

This comes as Prince County Hospital has come under fire recently, specifically concerning staff shortages and reductions to intensive care unit operations.

MacFarlane said travelling nurses and other health-care professionals will likely be part of the solution to the hospital’s problems, and securing the land is a part of giving those solutions momentum.

When asked about a timeline, he said he wasn’t able to guess, but he hopes all levels of government, UPEI, the foundation and the community can come together to figure out a “shared vision” for the land.

MacFarlane also said some of the land may potentially be allocated for UPEI’s upcoming medical school.