The New Brunswick government has announced $155 million to cover renovations already underway at the Saint John Regional Hospital.
Health Minister Bruce Fitch announced the project’s sizeable price tag at the hospital Friday morning.
“The project will see an additional 90,000 square feet to be built on the grounds of the Saint John Regional Hospital,” Fitch told a small crowd of politicians and health-care workers.
The long-anticipated development is scheduled to take seven years, according to a news release. Work has begun on Phase 1 of the three-phase build, focusing on ground and road work.
The two-story addition on the south side of the hospital is expected to update the intensive care unit, which has not been renovated to current standards since the hospital’s creation in the 1980s.
“Fundamentally, the current structure does not meet today’s standards in terms of infection control practices and space that will be adequate for physicians and staff, as well as for patients,” said Margaret Melanson, interim president and CEO of Horizon Health Network.
Construction will also create a new ambulatory procedure unit for endoscopy and minor procedures.
“We know that the future of health care is in ambulatory care, and so expanding the ambulatory care clinic is allowing patients to have same-day service without having to stay in hospital.”
According to Horizon Health, steps have been taken to ensure patient services are not impacted by the renovations.
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Following the current stage of construction, which is scheduled to finish this summer, crews will begin the two-year process to focus on structural work.
While the health network is optimistic that “proactively planning” the build will help avoid ballooning construction costs, Melanson said the “evolving world” means they will “deal with that as it comes along.”
The new hospital space is expected to welcome patients and medical operations in 2029.
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