Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) is closing the field hospital after it didn’t get a chance to use it.
In a memo to staff on June 30, the hospital network said the Ontario Department of Health had ordered HHS to shut down the field hospital, effective immediately. HHS expects it to be discontinued by early September.
The note read: “An enormous amount of work has gone into planning, building, staffing and equipping the mobile health unit in Hamilton to ensure it is ready to receive patients from all over Ontario if needed.”
“Hundreds of people participated, and HHS is proud to have been part of this pandemic response initiative, along with our local, state, provincial and federal partners.”
Despite all this, company spokeswoman Wendy Stewart confirmed that the field hospital did not serve a single patient.
Watch: Drone footage of Hamilton Field Hospital:
The “last resort” structure was built in the Wellington Street North parking lot to relieve the stress of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in the intensive care units.
It was due to be ready by the end of April, but the county did not immediately grant HHS approval, which led to the opening being postponed to May 31.
By that time, cases of COVID-19 were already declining.
“It came in very well…it seems very unlikely that we’ll ever use it, but it sure has been helpful to see it there as we think about the trajectory that COVID could have been,” said Sharon Pearson, president of HHS. and Executive Vice President of Clinical Operations, during a city council meeting on May 20.
It is unclear how much it cost to build the field hospital and who paid for it.