Health and Community Services
Tourism, Culture and Recreation
March 26, 2009

Record Budget 2009 Investments Advance Health and Well-Being in Newfoundland and Labrador

The Williams Government is investing a record $2.6 billion in Budget 2009 for health and community services in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"Our government is committed to building upon our strategic plan to enhance the quality of programs and services in our health care system," said the Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Health and Community Services. "We are making another record investment that will undoubtedly go a long way in the delivery of excellent care for the people of this province."

Enhancing Mental Health and Addictions

Funding of $775,800 will also be provided to address the prevention and treatment of substance use in the province by addressing service gaps, increasing service accessibility and involving communities in preventing addictions problems in youth.

Funding in Budget 2009 brings the Provincial Government’s additional investment to $17.9 million over the past five years for mental health and addictions services in the province.

Improving Long-term Care and Community Supports

Budget 2009 provides $35 million in funding to improve long-term care and community support services. Further details are included in the Budget 2009 release Budget 2009 Significantly Invests in Long-term Care and Community Supports.

Strengthening the Health Workforce

The Provincial Government is building upon previous initiatives and is investing a total of $8.8 million in Budget 2009 to further strengthen and support the health care workforce in Newfoundland and Labrador. An investment of $5.1 million will allow for continued expansion and additional operating costs associated with the Memorial University (MUN) Faculty of Medicine.

Other investments include:

  • $2 million to provide opportunities for health workforce professionals to upgrade skills and enhance their knowledge base;
  • $1.6 million over two years to support the continuing education of licensed practical nurses for two specific courses: medication administration and health assessment which are required by LPNs for licensure by 2012. Of this amount, government is committing $1 million in 2009; and,
  • $663,300 to increase recruitment capacity as well as improve provincial marketing strategies to continue to attract a range of health professionals to the province.
  • Health Equipment Investments

    An investment of $50 million in 2009-10 will provide funding for new health equipment to be added across the province. Investments include $3 million in laboratory equipment at the health facilities in St. John’s, Gander, Brookfield, Twillingate, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, St. Anthony, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, and Labrador City; $1.2 million for a nuclear medicine gamma camera in Corner Brook; $1 million to replace a CT Scanner in Grand Falls-Windsor; $75,000 for an endoscopy unit in Stephenville; and, $326,500 for ultrasound machines in Carbonear and Burin.

    This year’s funding brings the total investment in new health equipment by the Williams Government to over $173 million over the last five years.

    Investing in Health Care Facilities

    As part of the Provincial Government’s infrastructure investment package announced in February, Budget 2009 includes investments in health care facilities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador totaling $76 million.

    Infrastructure projects include:

  • $6 million for the design and construction start of a new parking garage at the Health Sciences Complex;
  • $5 million to start construction of an Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Human Genetics;
  • $500,000 for the planning of a residential treatment centre for youth with addictions;
  • $500,000 for the planning of a residential treatment centre for youth with complex mental health needs;
  • $1.2 million to start the redevelopment of the emergency department at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital;
  • $1.2 million to start the expansion of the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre;
  • $500,000 for site selection for a new long-term care home in Carbonear;
  • $500,000 for planning for a PET scanner for the province;
  • $19.2 million to complete construction of a new 236-bed long-term care home in Corner Brook;
  • $9.3 million to complete construction of a new 50-bed long-term care home in Happy Valley-Goose Bay;
  • $3.2 million to continue renovations at James Paton Memorial Hospital in Gander;
  • $4.7 million to continue design and site work at the new health centre in Labrador West;
  • $5 million for site infrastructure and to start the redevelopment at the long-term care home in Lewisporte;
  • $500,000 for design work for a new health centre in Flower’s Cove;
  • $2.3 million to continue construction of the Centre for Clinical Research, St. John’s;
  • $1 million to continue planning for the redevelopment of St. John’s hospitals;
  • $3 million to continue planning for two new long-term care homes to replace the Hoyles-Escasoni Complex;
  • $4 million for programming and site selection for a new hospital in Corner Brook;
  • $1 million to continue the expansion to the MUN Faculty of Medicine;
  • $4.6 million for design and to start the redevelopment at the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor; and,
  • $2 million to start the redevelopment of the ambulatory care area at the Carbonear General Hospital.
  • Repairs and maintenance:

  • $40 million, an increase of $6.5 million over 2008-09 funding, will be invested to address high priority repairs and renovations in health facilities. This funding brings the total investment by the Williams Government in health facility repairs and maintenance to $105 million over five years.
  • Supporting Regional Health Authorities

    Budget 2009 will provide $3.9 million to further support the regional health authorities in the delivery of quality health care services and programs to the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. This funding will address unique priorities and initiatives including:

  • $300,000 for the establishment of a new eye care centre in Corner Brook;
  • $813,000 for enhanced operating room capacity in urology services in Eastern Health; and,
  • $754,100 in funding for the operation of the new air ambulance for medevac services in St. Anthony.
  • An investment of $18.4 million will also be made in 2009 for regional health authorities to offset cost increases due to inflation and utilization growth in many of its programs and services.

    Budget 2009 will also provide funding of $2.5 million for the opening of new long-term care homes in Clarenville and Corner Brook. The funding will also be used to provide new office space for community-based health services in Labrador West.

    Strengthening Children, Youth and Family Services

    $8.5 million will be spent to assist in creating a new department and to provide additional support to programs and services in the child, youth and family services system in Newfoundland and Labrador. Further information can be found in the Budget 2009 news release Investing in Children, Youth and Families – New Government Department Being Created.

    Investing in the Provincial Drug Program

    In Budget 2009, the Provincial Government is investing $136.1 million in the Newfoundland and Labrador Prescription Drug Program (NLPDP).  This year’s investments include $3.9 million for new drugs to be added to the formulary. These medications include:

  • Nexavar for the treatment of liver cancer;
  • Xarelto for blood clot prevention following knee or hip surgery;
  • Xeloda for colorectal cancer treatment;
  • Celsentri for HIV treatment; and,
  • Lucentis for the treatment of macular degeneration.
  • Improving the Wellness of the Province’s Residents

    The Provincial Government is committed to providing the opportunity for each resident to have access to programs and services that support good health and well-being. On an annual basis, $4.1 million is invested in the Provincial Wellness Strategy. To further support wellness throughout the province, significant investments have been made in the Healthy Aging Policy Framework and will continue in Budget 2009 with an additional $3.5 million toward improving the wellness of residents.

    Investments include:

  • $2.8 million for medication for macular degeneration; as part of the additional $3.9 million in funding for the NLPDP;
  • $442,000 to enhance palliative end-of-life services;
  • $200,000 for a new Seniors Community Recreation Grant Program; and,
  • $65,000 to support seniors’ involvement in museums, archives and heritage attractions.
  • This budget builds on investments to promote healthier lifestyles through the province’s recreation and sport strategy – Active, Healthy Newfoundland and Labrador.

    "The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to promoting active, healthy lifestyles for all residents," said the Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation. "We will continue to work closely with the Departments of Health and Community Services, and Education, as well as our recreation and sport stakeholders, to ensure we are co-ordinating efforts and maximizing opportunities to achieve that mutual goal."

    Through the Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, Budget 2009 provides an additional $675,000 to improve existing programming and introduce new initiatives, bringing the total new funding invested in recreation and sport initiatives to $3.3 million in 2009-10. 

    Key investments include:

  • $200,000 in additional operational support to provincial sports organizations/federations and initiatives designed to increase participation in recreation and sport activities;
  • $200,000 in additional funding for community recreation programming, bringing the total annual budget to $600,000;
  • $75,000 for initiatives to promote physical activity among under-represented groups, such as girls, women, and individuals with disabilities;
  • $50,000 to improve coaching capacity in the province;
  • $50,000 in further support to the Regional Recreation Directors Program, operated through Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • $50,000 for an event hosting initiative, designed to support provincial sports organizations in their efforts to bring more Atlantic, national and international tournaments to Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • $25,000 to establish a provincial alliance/advisory group representing recreation, sport and physical activity stakeholders; and,
  • $25,000 for the KidSport program, which helps disadvantaged youth pay for involvement in sports programming. 

    "Budget 2009 reflects our unwavering focus on improving the quality of health care in the province," said Minister Wiseman. "Our government is expanding programs and services to respond to the changing needs of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians."

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    Media contacts:

    Ronalda Walsh
    Director of Communications
    Department of Health and
    Community Services
    709-729-1377, 685-1741
    Heather May
    Director of Communications
    Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
    709-729-0928, 697-5061

    2009 03 26                                                   2:05 p.m.

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