With site preparation recently finished, a tender will be issued for construction of the new Marystown north primary health care centre sometime next month.
Health Minister Susan Sullivan provided an update on the facility’s status Thursday morning at the Burin Peninsula Health Care Centre.
She was visiting the peninsula to announce funding details from the 2012 provincial budget for the region’s hospitals in Burin, St. Lawrence and Grand Bank.
The minister indicated design work for the new Marystown north facility is almost done.
“Once complete, the health care centre will provide residents in the region with improved access to physicians, a nurse practitioner and community health services.
“I want to tell you (Burin-Placentia West MHA Clyde Jackman) has advocated long and hard for this.”
Mr. Jackman, the province’s education minister, was also present Thursday, along with Fisheries Minister/Grand Bank MHA Darin King, Bellevue MHA Calvin Peach and Eastern Health CEO Vickie Kaminski.
He said afterwards he was hopeful for a quick start.
“I know people will talk about the construction season, but in Newfoundland and Labrador, our winters are not what they used to be. Therefore, I would expect that you’ll see some work on that shortly after the tender is awarded.”
Likewise, Mr. Peach, whose district takes in Bay L’Argent and surrounding communities, said he was also delighted to hear the tender will soon be advertised.
“It’s great news to see that that’s moving along. I’ve got a lot of
questions over the last few months (asking) ‘When is this going to happen?’ Now it’s starting to become a reality and we’re really pleased with that.”
During Minister Sullivan’s visit to the Burin hospital, she announced more than $800,000 in both infrastructure upgrades and capital equipment funding for the facility.
That includes $400,000 for the replacement of the air conditioning unit, $173,800 to complete renovations to the Ambulatory Care Unit, $96,000 for eight laboratory refrigerators, $40,000 for the replacement of electronic patient beds and $26,000 for a blood bank refrigerator and plasma freezer.
The U.S. Memorial Health Centre in St. Lawrence and the Grand Bank Health Centre will receive a total investment of $295,000 for the purchase of capital equipment, repairs and renovations this year.
The U.S. Memorial Health Centre is being provided with $175,000 to replace the facility’s fire alarm system and $28,000 to purchase a refrigerator and microscope for the health centre’s laboratory.
The Grand Bank Health Centre will purchase a refrigerator and patient lifts through an investment of $92,000.
Mr. King emphasized “The health care facilities in St. Lawrence and Grand Bank are vitally important to the future of these communities and the people of the Burin Peninsula. Investing in these facilities and services helps ensure that the people living here have access to appropriate health care services within their communities and near their families.”
Minister Sullivan acknowledged health care spending for 2012 totals some $3 billion or 40 per cent of the province’s entire $7 billion budget.
“I think all of us need to know and understand that we spend in Newfoundland and Labrador more than any other jurisdiction on health care.”