The emergency department at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital in St. John’s is once again accessible by its regular LeMarchant Road entrance as renovations at the hospital enter a second phase.
For the past several months, patients needing emergency care had to enter the hospital’s main entrance off St. Clare Avenue.
Eastern Health said in a statement today this entrance will now revert to its regular use and hours of access.
Patients requiring access to ambulatory care and day surgery are asked to continue using the main entrance while visitors needing to access inpatient floors after 10 p.m. are asked to use the emergency department entrance.
Eastern Health notes, however, there is no parking near the emergency entrance.
The change in the emergency entrance was made to accommodate the first phase of renovations to the department, which were primarily exterior.
Eastern Health says Phase 2, within the emergency department itself, will result in a new waiting room, triage and reception area, as well as a 40 per cent increase to the department’s examination spaces.
“This renovation will significantly improve both our capacity and efficiency, resulting in more timely access to care,” said Eastern Health vice-president Pat Coish-Snow. “However, while construction is ongoing, there will be some space restrictions and patients may encounter periods of congestion.”
Eastern Health says it will monitor the situation closely, and when possible, it will utilize other clinical spaces in close proximity to the emergency department to minimize wait times and disruption to patients.
“Emergency care is a 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week operation and our priority is to maintain that service at our St. Clare’s site,” said Coish-Snow. “We apologize for any inconvenience to our patients during this time of renovation, but are confident we can still provide quality care while working towards greater access to that care in the future.”
This phase of the renovations is expected to take about three months to complete. Eastern Health says it will continue to advise the public, as necessary, throughout the project.
The $4.1-million St. Clare’s renovation project has been funded by the provincial government and is expected to be completed in 2013.