The tender for the refurbishment of the Halifax Infirmary was scheduled to be awarded in late spring this year, but a government spokesman confirms that it is being delayed.
“Due to current market conditions, we have been asked to extend the financial closure of the [Halifax Infirmary expansion project] for several months and we are working towards that extension,” read a CBC News statement attributed to officials from the Health and Public Works departments.
The Halifax Infirmary is the largest part of what is known as the New Generation Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center project. Projected in 2018 at a cost of $2 billion, Work also included additions and renovations to Dartmouth General Hospital and Hants Community Hospital and the construction of a new outpatient center at Bayers Lake.
While work on the $259.4 million outpatient clinic remains on schedule and on budget, the government statement says “a financial update to the [Halifax Infirmary] The project will be provided in the future.”
Population growth exceeds projections
It’s hard to know what market conditions constitute, according to the government statement, but internal documents obtained by the CBC show that Nova Scotia’s booming population, particularly in the Halifax area, has raised concerns that plans for nursing must be reviewed.
The documents are from an internal presentation in February to officials related to the remodel. They show that the province’s anticipated population growth is already outpacing projections from 2015 when planning for major hospital refurbishment projects across the province began to take shape.
According to the documents, the QEII New Generation team is being asked to develop business cases for certain programs and services, “exploring the potential of the programs/services to add to Halifax Infirmary’s existing expansion project, or to include in a future phase.” remodeling”.
Recommendations discussed during the meeting include:
Addition of four additional operating rooms to the Halifax Infirmary project.
Add 144 beds (four floors with 36 beds each) to the existing project.
Addition of a new emergency service to the existing project.
Construct a new laboratory at Halifax Infirmary that would combine existing services with services currently located in the nearby MacKenzie Building. The delivery of the project is to be determined.
Construction of a new cyclotron at Halifax Infirmary. The delivery of the project is to be determined.
More planning work in progress
According to the documents, Nova Scotia’s population has exceeded projections used in the functional schedule and master schedule of the Halifax Infirmary and Victoria General sites by 6.6 percent by 2035.
“Updated population data suggests this is a modest estimate, as the 2021 analysis suggests the population will increase to 1,069,732 by 2031,” the documents say.
“This is a 13.5 percent increase over the population figures used in the master schedule and functional schedule for the HI and VG sites.”
The documents go on to say that projections show a centralization of the population in and around Halifax, with growth expected to be sustained. Further analysis is underway to update projections for hospital services “pending the release of updated long-term population projection data” from the province’s finance department.
Provincial government officials declined an interview request, but in a statement said they are aware of current population trends in the province and the Halifax area and some planning work has been completed taking into account the new projections. of growth.
“This information will also be used as future plans are developed.”
In the past week, CBC reported deteriorating conditions in the pathology department. in the MacKenzie Building and the fact that it is not part of the new generation project.
A plan to replace aging infrastructure
Dr. Laurette Geldenhuys, chief of pathology, told the CBC that her department is plagued by flooding, leaky pipes, and other infrastructure failures that, in addition to making the workplace a challenging environment, pose potential challenges for recruitment and retention.
The QEII New Generation plan aims to expand, and in some cases relocate, health care services and make way for the eventual closure of the Centennial, Victoria and Dickson buildings, just blocks from the infirmary at the Victoria General site.
Those buildings have been plagued by infrastructure deficiencies for years, including unsafe water.
The current plan for Halifax Infirmary calls for a new cancer unit, a new outpatient center, 28 operating rooms (an increase of 12, nine of which will be moved from Victoria General) and 626 inpatient beds (an increase of 180, 144 of which are relocating from the VG).
Refurbishment and expansion work is also underway at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital and at Glace Bay, New Waterford and Northside healthcare sites.
There are different timelines for that work, with the overall redevelopment project on Cape Breton Island expected to take six to seven years to complete at a cost of more than $1 billion.
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