Reaction to contracts mixed

Diane Crocker
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Gerald Parsons believes Thursday’s announcement of $17 million in contracts being awarded for work on the new regional hospital is the most positive move that’s been seen in a long time.

The vice-chair of the West Coast Health Care Action Committee said the project has been off track for too long, so it’s good to see something happening.

“We didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said. “There was nothing moving, there was no equipment around the property up there.”

Parsons committee has been vocal that the new hospital to be located in the city be able to meet the needs of the region, and that it offer radiation services and a PET scanner.

“This is not announced; this is being done because the tenders are awarded,” he said. “You know the hospital is coming.”

Eddie Joyce felt that the announcement on the hospital was more of a public relations move than anything. The Liberal MHA for the Bay of Islands has also been a strong advocate for a new hospital and for it offering the services needed here on the west coast.

“It’s great to see that Premier Marshall finally admitted that the hospital has been off track,” said Joyce. “... Just because the premier says it’s back on track doesn’t mean it is.”

And Joyce still has a lot of questions about the project. He’s still looking for a commitment from the premier that a PET scanner will be included in the hospital and not just the space for it. He’s also wondering where the $500,000 study on radiation services the premier has commissioned is. And he wants to know what will be included in terms of ultrasound services.

On Thursday Marshall indicated that the group selected to do the design for the facility would take the functional plan and do the detailed design of all the buildings.

The Western Star had erroneously said the plan was completed, however, an official with the premier’s office said Friday that it is undergoing final internal review and once that’s completed will be presented to government.  Joyce is also curious as to what will happen with the project once the province has a new leader.

The new regional hospital for Corner Brook was first announced in 2007.

Organizations: West Coast Health Care Action Committee, Parsons committee, Liberal MHA

Geographic location: Bay of Islands, Western Star, Corner Brook

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