News release

Province Funds First Step in Renovation and Expansion of Dartmouth General Hospital

The province is investing in the preliminary design leading to the expansion and renovation of the Dartmouth General Hospital as part of the province's Jobs and Building Plan to make life better for families.

"I've heard from Dartmouth residents that they want improved access to care in the community. Today's announcement will help deliver better care sooner to people in Dartmouth," said Marilyn More, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education on behalf of Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald.

The preliminary design, to be completed by summer 2012, is the first phase of renovations to the hospital's vacant fifth floor. The plan will add two operating rooms, and up to 51 inpatient beds to the hospital. A request for proposal for the work will be issued in the new year, which will help determine the exact details of the plan.

"Creating more space and building capacity at the Dartmouth General simply makes sense. It's been studied and we know it's necessary so we're moving forward with the preliminary design," said Ms. More.

As part of the Better Care Sooner plan, the renovations will help improve patient flow at the hospital and increase access to care for Dartmouth residents in their community.

"This announcement will allow us to address some of the severe overcrowding we have seen at the Dartmouth General Hospital," said Dr. Todd Howlett, the hospital's site chief. "At the same time, we anticipate we will be able to provide more scheduled services, allowing patients to access care closer to home."

Dartmouth General Hospital serves a population of about 70,000. In 2010-11, there were more than 75,000 out-patient visits and 5,680 surgeries performed.

The work is part of the first step in the overall plan to upgrade Capital Health's aging infrastructure, which will improve specialized care provided to patients across Nova Scotia and throughout Atlantic Canada.

As part of the Jobs and Building Plan, a feasibility study will be done in 2012 to determine the most economical and efficient approach to the required upgrades over the next five years, including the eventual demolition of the 44-year-old Centennial Building.

These renovations will enhance Dartmouth General's role in the larger Capital District Health Authority by moving some patients and surgeries there that do not require the specialized care provided by the QEII Health Sciences Centre.

"We are excited to hear about plans to move forward with enhancements to the Dartmouth General. This will be extremely important to everyone within Halifax Regional Municipality, but particularly the residents of Dartmouth and surrounding communities," Kim Conrad, chair, Dartmouth General Hospital Charitable Foundation.

The province's new Jobs and Building Plan will invest millions of dollars to make life better for families. It will create good jobs, grow the economy and provide better health care for all Nova Scotians. The plan invests in projects that are most important to Nova Scotians like emergency rooms, schools, roads and hospital equipment.

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The province is investing in the preliminary design leading to the expansion and renovation of the Dartmouth General Hospital as part of the province's Jobs and Building Plan to make life better for families.

The preliminary design, to be completed by summer 2012, is the first phase of work to renovate the hospital's vacant fifth floor. The plan will add two operating rooms and up to 51 inpatient beds to Dartmouth General. A request for proposal for this work will be issued in the new year and will help determine the exact details of the plan.

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Media Contacts:

Kristen Rector
Health and Wellness 902-424-2727 E-mail:
John Gillis
Capital District Health Authority Pager: 458-5376