Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) says it’s shutting down it’s Mobile Health Unit (MHU) effective immediately as per directions from the Ministry of Health.
The field hospital, set up at a parking lot on Wellington Street just outside of Hamilton General at the end of May, was part of an initiative from public health Ontario to handle potential overflow from local and out of region hospitals amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The decommissioning process is expected to be complete by early September,” spokesperson Wendy Stewart told Global News in e-mail on Monday.
Stewart said the agency was told the decision was tied to declining hospitalizations and ICU rates.
The facility had the ability to house up to 80 patients in eight tents, but actually never saw one in less than two months of operation.
The unit was the second of its kind after Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre pitched its facility in a North York parking lot last February as part of a pandemic surge plan amid significant patient growth in its intensive care units (ICU).
Both of the parking lot clinics were self-contained and equipped with medical support systems, generators and washrooms.
In late April, HHS staff told Global News as many as 30 patients a week were being transferred from other regions in Ontario to Hamilton. That number continued as Manitoba grappled with a spike coronavirus cases and hospital capacity issues.
However by June, HHS EVP and chief operating officer Sharon Pierson told staff in a town hall the mobile health unit was not likely to see any patients as cases subsided and the agency begin looking at restarting non-emergency surgeries.
A spokesperson at Sunnybrook told Global News they were not aware of any potential plans or timelines to dismantle that site.
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