February 26, 2019 1:43 pm
Updated: February 27, 2019 1:18 pm

Winnipeg’s new Women’s Hospital to open Dec. 1

WATCH: Almost four years later than first promised, officials have announced the opening date for the new Women's Hospital at HSC. Global's Alison MacKinnon reports.


It has been a long wait, but there is finally a date for the opening of Winnipeg’s state-of-the art women’s health facility.

The provincial government and Winnipeg Regional Health Authority announced Tuesday the new Women’s Hospital at the Health Sciences Centre will open Dec. 1, 2019.

The specialized wing for women and new mothers was originally set to open in 2016.

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READ MORE: Winnipeg Women’s Hospital on track to – finally – open in fall

After touring the building which is now in the finishing stage of construction, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen said the space will “support the delivery of excellent care” offered at HSC “for decades to come.”

WRHA’s chief operations officer said the facility includes “thoughtful design and construction” features with women and their families in mind.

“Natural light, private baths and areas to accommodate loved ones really make this facility special,” Krista Williams said in a written statement.

The 388,500 square-foot hospital on William Avenue will include inpatient and outpatient obstetrical, surgical and medical services that are currently being provided at the Notre Dame wing of HSC. The facility will also allow for the amalgamation of three neonatal (NICU) units currently spread across three different areas of the hospital.

READ MORE: ‘Unrealistic’: Winnipeg Birth Centre says 500 babies/year target not attainable

HSC delivers approximately 50 per cent of babies born in Winnipeg as well as many born to families who travel from outside the city. HSC also provides the bulk of hospital-based pediatric care and gynecological surgeries within the province.

Staff will undergo intensive training beginning this summer.

“There’s a lot of ongoing training that we need to do and that’ll sort of step up and intensify as we get into the spring and the summer. We’ve brought in some new technology, some of which we’ve already started to deploy in the old hospital so that the staff can get trained.” HSC’s Interim Chief Operating Officer, Ronan Segrave said.

Members of the general public will get a chance to see inside the building closer to the opening.

READ MORE: Winnipeg’s new women’s hospital won’t cost more, won’t open until 2019

Despite the delays, government and the WRHA officials have previously said the Women’s Hospital, the largest health care capital project in Manitoba’s history is still within the $232.9 million budget.

“We’re accepting that it’s taking longer to get the project done so we can live within our budget which is what tax payers expect,” WRHA Interim President Réal Cloutier said in December.

According to the WRHA, the project faced unforeseen challenges that led to the opening being pushed back, which included:

  • the road collapse on Sherbrook Street and subsequent remediation work on the shoring and foundation in 2012
  • a fire in the diagnostic centre in 2013 which affected infrastructure including the tunnel and skywalk
  • the completion of a second central energy plant and the relocation and integration of the utilities
  • a delay in significant key electrical work due to the insolvency with the original electrical subcontractors.

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