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Corner Brook hospital plans detailed by Liberal government

The site of the new regional hospital in Corner Brook.
The site of the new regional hospital in Corner Brook.

The new Corner Brook hospital will be a built using a public-private partnership.

The provincial government announced its plans to build the acute care component of the new regional hospital in Corner Brook Friday.

The news comes a month after government announced similar plans to build the long-term care component of the hospital complex that has been the subject of much discussion, but little physical action, for years.

Like the long-term care project, the acute care portion will be built using a public-private partnership. The process involved in both cases involve government selecting a list of qualified contractors, likely a group of consortiums, and then accept proposals from those bidders to design, build, finance and maintain the buildings.

Government would not put an exact dollar figure on the expected final costs, however. It does expect the public-private partnership approach to save tens of millions of dollars in the long term.

Patient care and related support services will continue to be administered and provided by public sector employees.

 

Facts and figures

- The new hospital will be around 50,000 square metres. This will be larger than the footprints of both the current Western Memorial Regional Hospital and Corner Brook Regional High School combined.

- The acute care facility will have 164 inpatient beds, all in private rooms. This compares with 217 beds in the current Western Memorial Regional Hospital, of which 25 to 30 per cent are occupied by long-term care patients at any given time.

- Combined with the 145 beds in the new long-term care facility, there will be an overall total of 309 beds on the new health care campus.

- Radiation therapy will be included among the scope of clinical services to be provided at the new hospital. All other clinical services currently offered at Western Memorial will be retained.

- The facility will be publicly owned from the time of occupancy. Patient care and related support services will continue to be administered and provided by public sector employees.

 

Timelines

- February 2017: Request for proposals to obtain the services of a financial and procurement advisor to provide project financial services and to guide government departments and Western Health in the complete procurement process. The scope of services for this consultant will include the development of the necessary procurement documents for the project.

- Fall 2017: Request for qualifications for the design, build, finance and maintain team.

- Winter/spring 2018: Request for proposals for the design, build, finance and maintain contract.

- Spring 2019: Construction starts with successful bidder responsible for maintaining the building for 30 years.

Fall 2023: Ready for occupancy and government takes ownership

 

What’s being said

- Premier Dwight Ball on the public-private partnership approach: “The point I want to reiterate is … Services — patient care, laundry, housekeeping, food services will be provided by public sector employees.”

- Israel Hann of the Corner Brook hospital action committee on the public-private partnership approach: “As long as the hospital is built, I don’t give a damn how. It’s going to be staffed with government employees and the unions are going to be in the hospital. What more do you want?”

- Susan Gillam, Western Health’s chief executive officer, on the inclusion of radiation therapy: “If you heard the stories … of cancer and how it touches each and every one of you and the benefit that (having radiation therapy) will bring to all of us in the region, it’s certainly fabulous.”

- Gerald Parsons of the Corner Brook hospital action committee on what’s next for the advocacy group: “We’re going to keep after the government to make sure this is done. ... I honestly believe this is the move for our hospital.”

- Stephenville Mayor Tom O’Brien, chair of Western Health’s board of trustees:

“A tremendous amount of work has gone into this project over the years … we will be keeping an eye on each and every detail, small and large, throughout this whole process to make sure, if there is anything we can be doing as a corporation or as a western region, that we would be doing it in a timely fashion.”

- Corner Brook city councilor Josh Carey, president of the Great Humber Joint Council, on the impact on the region:

“It’s also about the economic development spinoffs that will occur from a project of this size throughout the region … The economic spinoff would be in the construction phase and in the long-term jobs that would come with it.

 

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