The Manitoba government announced the first projects in an estimated $812 million expansion of health-care facilities across the province Monday.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister said the funding, which was included in the last budget, will see new facilities built as well as the renovation and expansion of existing health infrastructure through roughly 38 separate projects planned province-wide over the coming years.
Two of the projects were announced Monday, including nearly $70 million in funding for work at Brandon Regional Health Centre and $283 million to build a new hospital in Portage la Prairie.
“This commitment today is the largest health-care commitment in the history of Manitoba,” Pallister said at press conference in Brandon Monday morning.
“It will form the foundation of Manitoba’s new provincial clinical network … a system that will allow health-services to be more accessible, enhance the quality and reliability of care and reduce … our provincial wait times.”
A provincial release says the work at Brandon Regional Health Centre will see roughly 30 new medicine added, a new intensive care unit built with additional staffed adults beds, as well as a renovations and expansions made to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
The funding will also see renovations and expansions at the Western Manitoba Cancer Centre, aiming to make the facility a regional hub for cancer care, Pallister said.
The work at the cancer centre will see an anticipated 7,000-sq.-ft expansion and renovations of existing space including additional exam rooms and treatment spaces, as well as a new medical linear accelerator used for cancer treatment.
The work in Brandon is expected to get underway next year and be finished by the summer of 2025.
The new two-storey hospital in Portage la Prairie will be at least twice the size of the city’s current health facility, the province said, and will include a minimum of 90 acute care beds and increased day surgery capacity.
The hospital will also have an expanded emergency department and more space for programs including diagnostics, dialysis, palliative care, and outpatient services like lab and rehabilitation.
Pallister said further projects included in the funding will be announced over the next several months.
He said the investments have been identified as part of Manitoba’s Clinical and Preventive Services Plan, released in November 2019.
Lanette Siragusa, Manitoba’s chief nursing officer said the work will mean more reliable access to to care in emergencies.
“This is an investment in the equipment, buildings, technology and health-care professionals that will improve outcomes and better support the needs of all Manitobans,” said Siragusa in a provincial release.
“For rural and northern communities, it’s going to mean greater access to health services locally, with increased in-home care and other supports that will reduce the need for travel and support Manitobans at home, or in the community, for longer.”