On Thursday, August 11, The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador announced a tender for the renovation and expansion of the emergency department of the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) in St. John’s. New components of the HSC will include an adult mental health and addictions hospital, a psychiatric assessment unit, a high acuity trauma unit, a care initiation area and a diagnostic imaging area, a new ambulance parking garage, an administration area, and an entrance and registration area.
The allocation of $154 million towards improving the province’s healthcare infrastructure includes the construction of the new mental health and addictions hospital and equipment for healthcare facilities. “Our $567 million investment in infrastructure this year includes $154 million for healthcare initiatives, which will go towards projects like this one. This redevelopment and extension at the HSC will lead to better healthcare infrastructure and create jobs for tradespeople during construction,” commented the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Elvis Loveless. According to Budget 2022, the government has committed $10 million toward the redevelopment of the emergency room at the HSC. In 2018, the government also announced the direction of $6.1 million for the mental health and addictions facility.
The government has specified that constructing the 102-bed adult mental health and addictions hospital (replacing the Waterford Hospital) includes:
- Ongoing drywall framing.
- Mechanical and electrical rough-in.
- Installation of the exterior building cladding and windows.
A new 60-bed hostel will also replace the Agnes-Cowan Hostel. The project summary of this hospital released by Eastern Health includes developing a forensic unit, two adult acute units, a geriatric unit, a short stay unit and an eating disorder inpatient program.
Before this large-scale construction project begins (expected later this year), a temporary ambulance entrance and a temporary emergency triage area, a waiting room and public fast-track areas will be set up. According to the Minister of Health and Community Services Tom Osborne, “Our focus remains the delivery of the best possible health care for the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the expansion and design improvements align with that focus. As our population changes, our health care needs change also, and we must ensure our standards for delivery of emergency department care are appropriate.”
Premier Andrew Furey commented on these upcoming developments of the Health Sciences Centre: “Building and redeveloping healthcare infrastructure improves the way we provide healthcare services in Newfoundland and Labrador. This is the busiest emergency department in the province and this investment will enhance emergency services for people who require urgent care at the Health Sciences Centre and services at the new adult mental health and addictions hospital.”
Construction is expected to start later this year and last for approximately two years, finishing in late 2024.