Chris Allen was all smiles as he listened to Premier Dwight Ball reveal the provincial government’s plan to begin construction of the new long-term care facility in Corner Brook in 2017.
The new facility marks the beginning of a new Western Memorial Regional Hospital campus and will include 120 long-term care beds, as well as 15 palliative care beds and 10 rehabilitative care beds.
“This building is full now and my father (Gerald) is waiting to go to long-term and there’s just no rooms left,” Allen said Friday morning.
The building will be designed, built, financed and maintained by the private sector, but resident care will be administered and provided by the public sector.
“Creating more space in long-term care will ease pressure on the health-care system, moving people more quickly from acute care beds to more appropriate care,” Ball told an appreciative audience at the Corner Brook long-term care home Friday.
Allen knows there has been lots of talk in the past about forging ahead with construction of the facility and nothing got going, but he figures the desire to get it done now with the government totally committed is great news for everybody in the region.
“I think it’s been a long while coming and I think the people of the west coast really deserve it and it’s good that it’s moving ahead,” he said.
Israel Hann has been an advocate for improved health-care facilities in the region for 20 years. He was sitting quietly in the front of the room when the announcement was made and was trying to maintain a positive vibe about it all, because he has heard others say it was going to be built, but never give a firm answer on when.
“You got to feel good about it because you fought so long and hard for it,” Hann said. “You just hope and pray that it’s all going to come through, because it’s badly needed.”
Hann welcomes the news, but he won’t be satisfied until the new hospital is a reality.