Requests for new hospital’s construction design to be called soon

Gary Kean
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CORNER BROOK  Israel Hann hopes government representatives come to a public meeting and answer questions he and others have about the new hospital planned for Corner Brook.

Called for a reaction to the province announcing Friday that a request for proposals for the development of a detailed construction design for the new regional hospital in Corner Brook will be issued in the coming days, Hann mentioned the health care committee he is a part of is organizing a public meeting concerning the project.

The meeting will take place at the Greenwood Inn and Suites in Corner Brook on Jan. 8.

“They must be getting scared about our meeting,” said Hann of the latest government announcement.

The health care committee has invited government representatives, plus other politicians and officials, to come to the meeting. It will also be open to the public.

He doesn’t think anyone from government will attend, but Hann hopes they do.

“The more people we can get this meeting, the merrier, because we want answers,” he said.

The committee is concerned that the overall cost of the new hospital is proving too much for government and the project is being scaled back. The committee also wants to see health services currently only available in St. John’s made accessible at the western regional hospital.

“We are just fighting for quality,” said Hann. “Are we getting the same quality of care here as the people on the east coast? What’s the difference between us and the people on the east coast?”

With functional space programming for the new hospital now near completion, the request for proposals was announced by Health and Community Services Minister Susan Sullivan early Friday afternoon.

“The plan to develop the new hospital utilizes leading-edge practices in hospital construction, performance data of optimally delivered programs and services, as well as internationally-recognized expertise,” said Sullivan in a prepared statement. “The new hospital’s layout, services, and overall functionality are all being designed to complement the long-term demographics and needs of western Newfoundland.

Upon its completion, added Sullivan, the new hospital will be “a flagship for health care services.”

The minister said the request for proposals will be issued in the coming days and will bring together the engineering, architectural design and construction planning expertise required to finalize construction plans. It calls for the development of separate construction packages for both the long-term care facility and the acute care hospital.

The new hospital will be the largest building construction project undertaken by the provincial government since the Health Sciences Complex in St. John’s was constructed in the 1970s.

“The scale and complexities of the overall project require a tremendous amount of construction detailing and design before construction can commence,” Transportation and Works Minister Nick McGrath said in the same press release.

Analysis completed to date, according to the province, recommends 160 acute care beds and an additional 100 long-term care beds to meet the region’s chronic and long-term care needs. This is in addition to the new 14-bed restorative care unit that recently opened in Corner Brook.

It is anticipated that construction on the long-term care facility will commence in 2015, followed by commencement of the acute care hospital in 2016.

Organizations: Greenwood Inn, Health and Community Services

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • Really Interesting
    December 23, 2013 - 11:18

    When the hospital was announced several years back it was going to be a state-of-the-art facility that would cost over $800 million. Now it's downsized to $500 million, tack on inflation & the rising costs of construction, the reality is the West Coast will get a hospital less than what was promised. They are adding an additional 100 long term beds for one reason & one reason only - they screwed up when they built the long term care facility. They made it too small & made an error when calculating the space requirements - left off 100 beds! Now they want to make up for this error but will bury it into the cost of the 'hospital'. Remove that - what's left? Cottage Hospital - period. When we have to travel to St. John's it costs thousands of dollars. Second class citizens again with Vaughn Granter & Tom Marshall keeping silent about it. THIS IS WHO THE PEOPLE ELECTED .... CONGRATS ON SCREWING US HERE AGAIN!

  • Paul
    December 22, 2013 - 15:24

    I can promise that if Corner Brook does not get the hospital it deserve which meets the legitimate needs of the West Coast then Progressive Conservatives such as Vaughn Granter and whomever replaces Tom Marshall should never get elected again. Currently the government is playing games and this has to stop. A cancer treatment unit is required and we want it. We all can't live in the land of milk and honey namely St John's. History played a cruel joke on us when it made St. John's the capital...

    December 21, 2013 - 08:49

    To answer your question, - the difference in folk on the west coast & the east coast is that if the people on the east coast need extended medical services, those living east of the overpass do not have to pay out a huge chunk of their life-sustaining money just to try to get well. This situation is amoral to the deepest depths. Where are those persons who are commissioned to take charge & govern the health AND welfare of ALL Newfoundlanders & Labradorians. Keep up the vigilence, Israel. Many are looking on this situation with hope. Many thanks!