Back to the drawing board

Jamie Bennett
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Company reviewing master plan for regional hospital

The site of the proposed new regional hospital in Corner Brook is seen on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012.

CORNER BROOK — Despite concerns, the provincial government insists a new regional hospital will be built in Corner Brook — eventually.

Susan Sullivan, minister of Health and Community Services, confirmed Tuesday the provincial government awarded a contract in October to Stantec, an engineering and project management company, to review and refine the master plan for the project.

The news comes as concerns mount about the future of the hospital, which was announced in 2011 and slated to be completed by 2016.

Liberal MHA Eddie Joyce has hounded the provincial government in the House of Assembly about the seemingly stagnated project of late, and Corner Brook city council recently drafted a letter requesting an updated timeline from Premier Kathy Dunderdale.

Sullivan said officials from Stantec were in the city for three days last week meeting with members of her department, as well as some of the executive and regional heads at Western Health.

During the visit, the company looked at the work which has been done: about $20 million worth of water and sewer work and landscaping on the site at the intersection of Cpl. Pinksen Memorial Drive and the Lewin Parkway. Stantec also reviewed the current master plan.

The group also toured the facilities at Western Health to assess the condition of the buildings to determine if they might be used to provide medical services in the future.

Among the things being reviewed, Sullivan said, are bed and building model projections, as well as the current and future demographics in the region.

Another meeting between the company and government is expected once Stantec presents its report, which according to Sullivan, is expected early in the new year.

She said while it won’t be known what changes are made to the master plan until the report is filed, the meetings seem to have created a renewed sense of momentum in the project among the Progressive Conservative government.

“From the reports I had from my officials, these were very, very productive and successful meetings,” Sullivan told The Western Star Tuesday.

With an aging demographic and the increasing prevalence of chronic disease, she said the government’s goal remains to build the appropriate hospital with the proper resources for the region.

“We want to make sure that it is the right size and the right fit,” she said. “This is a mammoth undertaking and we really need to get it right.

“When we looked at that original plan, we didn’t feel it met the needs of the western region. That’s why we sort of stopped, took a good look at where we were and said we need to reset here. So that’s what we’ve done with Stantec.”

Sullivan said while a timeline for completion won’t be known until Stantec’s report is finished, she wouldn’t characterize the current re-evaluation as evidence the hospital is being downsized.

“It’s not downsizing, it’s right-sizing,” she said, noting the design phase is a complex, technical process. “In doing that we need to take the time to do the proper investigation. It’s about getting it right to ensure we’re providing the best possible health care we can.”

As for the price, Sullivan said her department is “nowhere close” to estimating project costs, but will do so once the Department of Transportation and Works has the chance to review the latest design for the hospital.

Organizations: Stantec, Community Services, Corner Brook city council Department of Transportation and Works

Geographic location: Corner Brook, Lewin Parkway, Western Star

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page



Recent comments

  • Tony Young
    December 06, 2012 - 13:01

    Trevor that is a very good point, increase the services at Stephenville, and take pressure off the new facility at Corner Brook. Stephenville could be utilized for Southwestern NL with the proper services offered, and a smaller more reasonable cost effective faculity in Corner Brook for the region makes so much sense dollar wise and suits the entire west Coast of NL. That should have been the plan when Stephenville's new hospital was built in the first place.

  • Trevor
    December 05, 2012 - 15:15

    I response to SHAR's comment - The hospital in Stephenville is built and in need of staffing. If this government is looking to cut costs, which it obviously is, than the logical choice would be to downsize this project and fill the vacant positions at Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital. That way, some pressure can be taken off of the facility in Corner Brook and less investment will be needed to construct it. The 25,000 people around Bay St. George can go about their business without having to trek into Corner Brook for medical services on a regular basis and everone is much happier.

    • SHAR
      December 06, 2012 - 00:03

      Yes, but Stephenville needs decent Dr's and more of them...They don't even have a maternity ward there. God help Cancer patients, they have to go to St. Johns for radiation. There are very few specialists in Stephenville (if any), My mother suffered a stroke, took her to Stephenville, they waited 12 hrs. before sending her to Corner Brook, said it was the flu. As I said "Walk in Clinic" for colds, flu only/

  • mellie
    December 05, 2012 - 11:23

    building should take in all places like the old canadian tire rental space bring everything togather. put some commercial space there to pay for the project over the years

  • Newsreader
    December 05, 2012 - 10:55

    If and when this thing ever does get built, expect something more along the lines of a longterm care facility than a hospital. I listened to Tom Marshall being interviewed on CBC Radio yesterday morning, and a longterm care facility is exactly what he was stressing he'd like to see -- as a better fit for our shrinking population and aging demographic. And this is likely the plan that was in place when landscaping was done, and the water and sewer lines went in.

      December 05, 2012 - 14:06

      You do realize we have a brand new long term care building here right? Oh okay. I thought you did. we need a new hospital.

  • Foghorn Leghorn
    December 05, 2012 - 10:02

    Nothing more than a delay tactic to hopefully make it look like they are actually doing something. The provincial government has made a decision to over extend itself financially with the pending Muskrat Falls development. It no longer has the financial capabilities to build a health care facility of this magnitude. We will be looking at a blank block of land for many years to come.

  • shar
    December 05, 2012 - 09:23

    The West coast is in desperate, desperate need of a new hospital and the current one in Corner Brook is in terrible condition. They have excellent staff & Dr's but obviously need more. Why Stephenville got a new hospital is beyond anyone's imagination when its nothing better than a walk in clinic.. The focus needs to be in building this facility and not lining pockets.

  • Wayne R Bennett
    December 05, 2012 - 06:41

    During the visit, the company looked at the work which has been done: about $20 million worth of water and sewer work and landscaping on the site at the intersection of Cpl. Pinksen Memorial Drive and the Lewin Parkway. Stantec also reviewed the current master plan. Ok, I am confused here. If you do not know the size of the facility, how can you have the water and sewer in place. What if what is now in the ground does not have the capacity to handle the output of sewer from the redesigned facility and what if the water line now installed is too small. Like paying a road and digging it up a month later to install a new water line. Design the building first then installed your services. I can see everything been dug up to fix what I would say will be undersized for the new hospital. It was like when I lived in military housing. They came one day and put all new cermanic tile around the bathtub. A month later a different contractor was in putting in a new bathtub and had to removed the brand new tile. Mark my words!

  • peter barryu
    December 05, 2012 - 06:24

    well ms sullivan the right size right fit should have been done back in 2007 when this project was it what you want but its downsizing.another broken promise by our own members.anyone remember the grenfell promise.people wont forget mr marshall.