By Rachel Bell 
BELLEVILLE – The next step in the process for a new hospital in Prince Edward County is complete.
In January, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care approved a preliminary submission, giving Quinte Health Care the green light to move to Stage 1.
The submission includes the recommendation that the new hospital be built on the existing hospital site in Picton, with the current hospital, Prince Edward County Memorial, remaining fully functional the entire time.
The proposal has been approved by the Quinte Health Care board of directors, and goes to the South East Local Health Integration Network  for endorsement before being submitted to the ministry for approval.
Bill Andrews, director of capital projects at Quinte Health Care, predicts it will take three months for the ministry to review the project.
Once the plan is approved, project partners can move forward with Stage 2, which will determine the operational and space requirements to help the architect design the new hospital.