N.S. government approves millions in extra funding for 2 hospital projects

Work on several long-awaited multimillion dollar hospital projects in Nova Scotia will get underway later this year.

Construction will soon begin on updated and expanded services at Shore Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater, N.S., a project that was formally announced in 2017. The total value of the project is $112.7 million. The provincial government passed an order in council this week that added about $34 million to what was previously approved for the project.

Work includes renovations to the emergency department, the endoscopy/day surgery unit, dialysis and physical plant.

“Space is being constructed for an MRI, which will be a new service,” Health Department spokesperson Peter McLaughlin said in an email.

“Construction is anticipated to get underway this spring with some site work and more major construction later this year.”

Bridgewater project faces logistical challenges

Completing the work in Bridgewater could take up to seven years because it includes multiple phases and renovations of a hospital that has to remain operational as the work happens, said McLaughlin.

“That makes the work a little more complex and takes more time.”

The provincial government also topped up the money available for the redevelopment and replacement of the hospital in Pugwash, N.S.

Pugwash project

The replacement of the North Cumberland Memorial Hospital, which was also formally announced in 2017, will have space for urgent, ambulatory and primary care, in-patient short-stay care, laboratory and diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation services, palliative care and other community-based supports.

The province previously approved $6.8 million for the project and this week passed an order in council that approved an additional $18.7 million, making the project worth up to $25.5 million once design work, land acquisition and construction is complete.

“The land for the new hospital has not yet been acquired,” said McLaughlin.

“We have [a] preferred location and we will be in negotiations soon.”

McLaughlin said the site will be revealed when negotiations are finalized. Construction is expected to start this fall. Once the new hospital is ready, the old hospital will be demolished to create parking. McLaughlin said it would take several years to complete the work.

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