$90M investment in Saint John hospital to improve efficiency: government

Click to play video 'N.B. government invests $90 million in Saint John hospital upgrades' N.B. government invests $90 million in Saint John hospital upgrades
WATCH ABOVE: The Saint John regional hospital will undergo major renovations over the next five years. As Global's Andrew Cromwell reports almost 100 million dollars will be spent upgrading intensive care, surgical and oncology units.

Redesign and renovations at Saint John Regional Hospital is getting a major boost from the government, as Premier Brian Gallant announced Monday $90 million to go toward the project.

The money will cover the costs of redesigning and redeveloping the intensive care unit (ICU) as well as surgical and oncology units, according to a release.

READ MORE: New Brunswick health network hears from public on patient experience

Work on design, planning and construction documentation are set to get underway this year, accounting for $2.5 million of that chunk of money. The planning and design will be done in partnership with the provincial government and Horizon Health.

“This investment will help the Saint John Regional Hospital provide even stronger health care to New Brunswickers,” Gallant said in a release.

The chief of staff for the hospital, Dr. John Dornan said amalgamating the intensive care units will allow the patients to receive the treatment they deserve.

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“Lots of sophistication that goes through our ICU, like trauma patients and the like, need better, more private and more expert space. Now we’re going to have that,” Dornan said.

The entire renovation process is expected to happen over the next five years.

The government expects the redesign will increase efficiency across the hospital — with the ICU working better and more co-operation between departments, it’s hoped work will be streamlined between the ICU, surgery and oncology.

“We see a hundred outpatients a day in a fairly congested area with 12 exam rooms and 12 physicians that may be working,” said clinical head of oncology Dr. Margot Burnell.

“This announcement will allow us to have more rooms to have the patients in a private setting and to allow all those people who provide care to be with them for appropriate time and to answer their questions and concerns”

The government says the hospital improvements will “help facilitate high-quality patient and family-centred care.”

Saint John Regional Hospital was opened in 1982.

According to Horizon Health, it’s the largest tertiary care hospital in the province, and is the primary referral centre for major trauma and cardiac care.