By Bevan Hamilton 
BELLEVILLE – QNet News is looking into different models for how Quinte Health Care’s hospitals could work together in the future.
This series comes out of an online conversation we held recently. Katherine Stansfield, QHC vice president, mentioned in that live chat that there are other models emerging in Ontario on what services hospitals offer. We’ve already looked at Hotel Dieu  in Kingston.
We now take a look at Markdale Hospital in Markdale, a rural community about half an hour from Owen Sound.
Markdale, which is part of Grey Bruce Health Services , has been approved for a new hospital. The new hospital, which will be named Centre Grey Hospital, will offer a slightly different model of care than the previous one.
The hospital’s director of communications, Mary Margaret Crapper, told QNet News the new facility will be mostly an outpatient hospital.
The new hospital won’t have an operating room, said Crapper, but it will have a procedure room. The hospital will still have a 24/7 emergency department, but the number of short-stay patient beds will go down from 14 to 4, despite requesting approval for 14 from the provincial government.
Markdale Hospital is connected to five other hospitals in the region, but all the rural hospitals work closely with Owen Sound Hospital, which Crapper said acts as the hub.
In this way, Grey Bruce Health Services is similar to Quinte Health Care in that there is one main hub – Belleville General Hospital – and rural hospitals surrounding it – Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital, Trenton Memorial Hospital and North Hastings Hospital. Like GBHS, the hospitals in QHC are closely connected.
“We work really closely transferring patients between our sites and so that type of care will continue with that new 4-bed facility in our group of hospitals,” said Crapper.
Owen Sound is the only hospital that offers a women and child unit, so it’s the only place for babies to be born. It’s also the only hospital in the region that has a cancer unit. Crapper says the hospital is also the only one that could treat a patient suffering from a stroke.
“Right now, if you showed up in any of our sites with a stroke, you would need to be brought here to the Owen Sound Hospital. So you’re stabilized in the (Markdale) hospital and transported. And that model will continue in the new Markdale hospital,” Crapper said.