Premier Kathy Dunderdale. — Telegram file photo
Premier Kathy Dunderdale has announced a $227-million investment over three years “to advance construction” of a new regional, acute care health facility in Corner Brook.
The premier said in a news release today, the 2013 budget will allow for the significant advancement of the design of this important infrastructure project.
“From Day 1, our government has not waivered in our commitment to construct a new hospital for the people of western Newfoundland and today I am proud to announce our investment of $227 million over the next three years to make this project a reality,” said Dunderdale. “We have a strong vision for Newfoundland and Labrador and a pillar of that commitment is a solid health care system that is sustainable, responsive and meets the needs of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”
Health and Community Services Minister Susan Sullivan, Tom Marshall, minister of natural resources and MHA for Humber East, and Vaughn Granter, MHA for Humber West, joined the premier for today’s announcement.
The news release says the next phase of this project will finalize the design for the new hospital complex, which includes an acute care centre, a separate long-term care facility, with in-patient mental health services, and a hostel. The complex will have 260 beds.
The provincial government will issue a request for proposals for professional design services by July of this year to complete the detailed design of the facilities. Construction is expected to begin on the site in 2015.
“Our government is steadfast in its commitment to build a health-care facility in the western region that will address the health care needs and demands not just for now, but well into the future,” said Sullivan. “We must invest wisely to sustain our health-care system and that responsibility is balanced with the recognition that we must continue to focus on critical infrastructure. Our investment proves that we are focused on providing the right care in the right place.”
The province says this latest funding will build on a review undertaken by Stantec, an engineering management company, to revise the master plan for the replacement of the Western Memorial Regional Hospital. It says Stantec’s process was an important due diligence step, one that has had a positive impact on the composition of the new facility and takes into consideration existing needs and future demands.
“Our comprehensive planning process for the new hospital in Corner Brook has ultimately been to the benefit of residents in the western region,” said Marshall. “I am proud to be part of a government that places such emphasis on ensuring we have a solid plan in place for our children and grandchildren. This new hospital will be a testament to that drive and dedication.”
Granter said he’s also pleased to see government making this investment in the new regional hospital. “This facility will ensure that strong health-care services continue to be available to residents now and well into the future,” Granter said.