Government and Nova Scotia Health Authority announced plans today, April 21, to address the aging Victoria General Hospital (VG) site of the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax.
The health authority, along with Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, provided an update on work completed to date and plans moving forward.
“We know the healthier Nova Scotians are, the stronger our communities and our economy will become,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “We want a health system that better connects Nova Scotians to the care they need.
“This plan will improve access to care and over time reduce waits.”
Services will gradually be moved out of the Centennial and Victoria buildings to locations that will improve access to health care.
“Our plans give us the opportunity to design safe, quality environments for patients, families, physicians, staff and volunteers for generations,” said Janet Knox, president and CEO of Nova Scotia Health Authority. “We will enhance services and supports — from the most basic care to the most specialized –- that are based on the needs of Nova Scotians.
“Nova Scotians will receive the right care at the right time.”
Some of the changes will include:
— transferring the most complex and specialized services (e.g., organ transplant) from the VG site to the Halifax Infirmary site of the QEII
— construction of a new space for a specialized outpatient centre that must remain close, or even connected, to the existing Halifax Infirmary building
— development of a community outpatient centre for services that do not need to be delivered in a hospital setting
— moving five palliative care beds from the VG site to a planned 10-bed residential hospice in Halifax
— expanding the Dartmouth General Hospital inpatient and surgical capacity to include four additional operating rooms and 48 beds. This project is now in the detailed design phase.
— enhancing and expanding the Nova Scotia Cancer Centre
— performing more surgeries by re-opening a second operating room at Hants Community Hospital in Windsor and explore using Scotia Surgery services more
This is a complex undertaking with many parts. The goal is to complete this work while causing the least amount of disruption to care.
The overall project timeline is between five and seven years; however, services will begin to be relocated in late 2016.
The overall cost estimate will be determined once additional planning stages are complete. The renovations and expansion at the Dartmouth General Hospital will cost between $132 million and $138 million.
Government is taking the one-time revenue bump of $110.3 million from the convention centre in Halifax and putting it toward its debt. This gives government greater fiscal capacity to address the aging VG site. Also in this year’s budget is $3.7 million in capital grants toward the project.
There will be opportunities for health providers and employees, physicians, patients and the public to stay informed and engaged with regular project updates, public information sessions, and online at http://QE2redevelopment.ca .