Transforming Emergency Care in Scarborough

Photograph: Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, joined by SHN staff and physicians, and Scarborough MPPs

Ontario invests in expanding and redeveloping Birchmount hospital’s Emergency Department.

Code: Transformation! Scarborough Health Network’s (SHN) mission to improve our patients’ lives through exceptional care got a half a million boosts this morning.

Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health joined SHN staff and physicians, and MPPs from across Scarborough, at Birchmount hospital to announce a $500,000 investment to support the first phase of planning to expand and redevelop the hospital’s emergency department.

“Our government is committed to ensuring local emergency departments receive the funding they need to improve patient experience and the delivery of care in the community,” said Elliott. “Investing in projects like expanding emergency departments in hospitals like Birchmount is just another example of how Ontario will reduce wait times for emergency care and end hallway health care.”

Currently, Birchmount hospital’s Emergency Department serves 51,000 patients every year in a space designed to serve 25,000.

“At its busiest,” explained Dr. Norman Chu, Medical Director and Chief of Emergency Medicine at SHN’s Birchmount and General hospitals, “we have a new patient coming in to receive emergency care every three minutes.”

Despite its space limitations, Birchmount has one of Ontario’s top three performing Emergency Departments. Today’s commitment is the first step toward a comprehensive expansion and redevelopment of Birchmount’s Emergency Department.

The new Emergency Department will be more than twice the size of the current department to meet the growing needs of the Scarborough community. The new facility will be modern and state-of-the-art, with a patient-centred design that incorporates architectural best practices.

Once open, it will provide a compassionate and safe care environment for patients and staff, and will   capitalize on advancements in technology and practice in emergency medicine to create the best outcomes and patient experience.

SHN is thrilled to start Birchmount’s Emergency Department redevelopment.


Birchmount hospital’s new Emergency Department will feature: 

  • A child- and-family-friendly paediatric assessment zone to soothe children and avoid exposing them to seriously ill and injured patients
  • Increased privacy for patients
  • A dedicated space for seniors designed to support elder-friendly interventions
  • A safe, secure Mental Health and Urgent Care Unit
  • Improved family waiting areas with private bereavement rooms
  • Improved family and patient support areas

“With this transformative investment, today we begin a new chapter in shaping the future of care for Scarborough,” said Maureen Adamson, Scarborough Health Network Board Chair.

“Together, with Minister Elliott and the Government of Ontario, we will deliver the highest quality of care and services to all the residents of Scarborough. I want to personally thank the Minister on behalf of all the frontline staff, physicians and patients that we serve at Birchmount hospital for your commitment and dedication to improving lives, ending hallway medicine and lowering wait times.”

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