The new $750 million dollar Western Memorial Regional Hospital. In an event this morning the building was officially handed over by the Corner Brook Health Partnership (CBHP) to the Premier.
Premier Andrew Furey says construction has been completed on time and on budget for the new $750 million dollar Western Memorial Regional Hospital. In an event this morning the building was officially handed over by the Corner Brook Health Partnership (CBHP) to the Premier. He says it will still take some time before patients are moved in. “There is no one easy fix for whoever comes here and says everyone is going to have a doctor tomorrow, that’s not accurate,” he says. “To change the system takes time, it takes time to train everyone and it’s being done in parallel.”
Furey says this new, state of the art facility will draw people who work in healthcare to the west coast. “It’s very frustrating dealing with antique equipment when you’re being trained on modern technology and equipment,” he says. “It’s hard to take the skill and apply it to a place that can’t accommodate it. There’s no question this will draw people to the west coast for work.”
As a Doctor, the Premier says it’s very satisfying to see this happen. “As someone who worked in the old Western Memorial Regional Hospital, it’s very satisfying to see this modern facility finally come to fruition.”
The new hospital was first announced in 2007. Immigration, Population and Skills Growth Minister Gerry Byrne and Corner Brook MHA says there were 10 announcements in 10 years. “We’ve had consultants during that darker period,” he says. “$40 million was spent on nothing and our health care professionals never got swayed from that,” he says. “Today, that facility is theirs.”
Byrne says the rooms are all single beds and spacious. He says the new facility will also host an expanded cancer care program, including radiation services. “That is really important,” he says. “There’s a special cat scanner located next to the radiation bunker, so people don’t get excess radiation, and everything is very precise, very pinpointed.”
The seven-storey, 600,000 square foot facility has 164 beds, with the same services currently provided at the existing Western Memorial Regional Hospital. The geothermal system in the facility will translate into electricity savings of approximately 4,600,000 kWh annually, which is enough to heat 500 homes for a year.