Renovations at Dartmouth General Hospital are about to begin.
"Patients and staff have been waiting for this renovation for a long time. I couldn't be happier to tell them that the wait is over," said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine today, April 28.
"For decades, people have received exceptional care in this hospital, but parts of it have become outdated. When these renovations are done, patients will have a modern, updated facility where they can be cared for and recover."
This project will cost $6 million. Government will provide $4.5 million over the next two years, with the rest coming from community fundraising.
Government also contributed $375,000 toward design of the third and fourth floors.
PCL Constructors Canada was awarded the tender for construction last week. The construction team will begin work Thursday. It is expected to finish by late 2016 or early 2017.
The project includes:
-- upgraded patient rooms and bathrooms that will better accommodate those in wheelchairs and walkers
-- new handwashing sinks in hallways for health-care workers
-- utility rooms where medical equipment can be safely cleaned and sterilized, saving nurses' time and improving infection control
-- New team stations where staff will work together on patient care
-- plumbing and electrical work for the future expansion of the fifth floor, which will eventually add 50 beds to the hospital
"These renovations we are doing will make such a difference for our patients and our staff," said Nova Scotia Health Authority CEO Janet Knox.
"A project like this has implications far beyond these walls. As the Nova Scotia Health Authority, our vision is on continuously improving care for all Nova Scotians through a deeply connected system."
Health-care staff were involved in the design to make sure renovations will meet their needs, and the needs of patients.
Registered nurse Maureen Egan, who has worked at Dartmouth General for 25 years, said the new bathrooms will make it much easier for nurses to care for patients. The renovated bathrooms will have wider doorways, a pull-down seat in the shower and well-placed grip bars for stability.
"Right now, we can't get patients with walkers in and out of the shower," Ms. Egan said. "We'll be able to get more patients to shower rather than giving them bed baths, and a shower is much more refreshing and therapeutic."
Dartmouth General Hospital opened in 1977.