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Details of the new health facility on the old Grace Hospital site must be worked out, the government says

Details of the new health facility on the old Grace Hospital site must be worked out, the government says
Details of the new health facility on the old Grace Hospital site must be worked out, the government says


A smiling man in a dark suit stands outside in front of a trio of microphones.
Health Minister Tom Osborne announced the Health and Wellbeing Center in the city center on Friday. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

The Newfoundland and Labrador government says a new health care facility to be built on the site of the former Grace Hospital in St.

Health Minister Tom Osborne and Infrastructure Minister John Abbott announced on Friday morning that the site cleared in February will become the City Center Health and Wellbeing Centre.

Abbott has high expectations for the facility, which is set to offer a variety of services, many of which will target the most vulnerable populations in the downtown area.

“It's going to be a monumental facility that's overdue for downtown and for the city in general,” Abbott said.

The center will provide urgent care and primary care, mental health and addictions services, and psychiatric/psychosis interventions, among other things, to downtown residents.

Beds for twenty patients will be available in the center. Sixteen will act as a transition for patients returning from the mental health and addictions hospital. Four beds will be available for people experiencing an active mental health crisis. The Pleasantville Recovery Center is also moving its services to the new facility.

The provincial government says the timeline and cost will be determined after an architectural request for proposals is issued.

A woman walks past a large fenced off area.
The new facility will be built on the site of the former Grace Hospital. (Mark Quinn/CBC)

Osborne estimates it will take five to six years to complete the facility and will have a nine-figure price tag.

“We know it's going to be over 100,000 square feet and close to $100 million. The final costs will obviously be determined through the RFP and what bids we get,” Osborne said.

Plans but no action

PC health and infrastructure critic Barry Petten said he is tired of hearing the provincial government make announcements without action.

“It's pictures, smoke and mirrors. You make these announcements and they're all good and they make people feel good, but there's no substance beyond any time frame. There's no budget to work with,” Petten said, referring to announcement of the province last year. for the replacement of St. Mercy Hospital. Clare. The government has not decided where the replacement facility will be located.

NDP leader Jim Dinn pointed to the replacement of Her Majesty's Penitentiary, the 165-year-old penitentiary on the shores of Lake Quidi Vidi in St.

A replacement for the old jail was promised in 2019 at an estimated cost of $200 million and was scheduled to be completed in 2022. Work has not yet begun.

“Government is very good when it comes to plans. I don't think so much about delivery,” Dinn said.

With the province experiencing a shortage of health care workers, Petten also said he is concerned about where the staff for the new facility will come from.

Osborne sees it as a matter of not,

“Our recruiting missions are working, our recruiting initiatives are working. We now have more people entering health care than are retiring or leaving health care, and that's for the first time in three or four or five years that we have more people coming in than leaving,” he said.

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