Premier Stephen McNeil and Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine announced today, May 14, at the Dartmouth General Hospital, that the province has approved moving to the second stage of design for work on the Dartmouth General Hospital and the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre. Government is also moving ahead with renovations to the third and fourth floors of the Dartmouth General.
"Investments in health care remain critical for people. Part of managing our budget wisely involves focusing on improving front-line resources like beds and operating rooms," said Premier McNeil. "Today we are moving down a path that will ensure Nova Scotians can continue to receive quality care that will reduce waits and improve health outcomes.
"We're going to invest time in planning and renovations to make sure we're using our health-care assets in the smartest, most efficient way possible, for the benefit of patients and families."
This second phase of design will create more specific plans for the renovation of the third, fourth and fifth floors of the Dartmouth General Hospital, including building a new tower for eight new operating rooms. It will also include renovations and an operating tower at the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII. Preliminary concepts were created in 2012.
"When people don't feel well, they want to know they can get care in a clean, modern facility that has all the services they need," said Mr. Glavine. "After a lot of planning and consultation, we will move ahead to complete a design and begin renovations that will meet the needs of patients for years to come."
The improvements will allow patients to be treated more efficiently by having similar services closer together. It will allow Capital Health to move beds and services out of the Centennial Building to the Dartmouth General and other QEII sites, and will also lead to better spaces for dialysis services in Halifax and Dartmouth. The renovations of the third and fourth floors of the Dartmouth General will include new utility rooms for laundry and bedpans, and improve hand-washing stations, shower rooms and facilities for nurse charting.
"We are very pleased the province is taking this critical next step in contributing to the design of flexible spaces that allow us to provide innovative, patient-centred care within our existing facilities," said Chris Power, president and CEO of Capital Health. "Patients and families are at the heart of our work and we appreciate the efforts of the QEII and Dartmouth General foundations to help us deliver world-leading care."
This phase of the design work will cost $7 million and will be cost shared 75-25 with the QEII Health Sciences Centre Foundation and the Dartmouth General Hospital Charitable Foundation. The province will contribute $5.25 million, with the foundations contributing the remaining $1.75 million. A request for proposals for design will be issued this fall.
"We are fortunate that Nova Scotians share our vision for better health and continue to support advancing health care through generous donations," said Nancy MacCready-Williams, chair of the QEII Foundation.
The Dartmouth General site is more than 30 years old. In 2013, Capital Health conducted almost 40,000 operations and had almost 780,000 outpatient clinic visits.
"Our foundations are able to help fund health-care advancements in our communities because of generous donors and partners," said Bill MacMaster, chair of the Dartmouth General Hospital Charitable Foundation.