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Health and Community Services
November 20, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Health and Community Services:

Significant Investments Improve Access to Rural Health Care

Mr. Speaker, I rise in this Honourable House today to emphasize the significant health care investments our government has and continues to make in rural areas throughout the province. Specifically, investments in the operation of the regional health authorities, funding for new capital infrastructure, renovations and repairs of existing infrastructure, and the purchase of new equipment.

Budget 2012 allocated almost $3 billion to enhance access to health care programs and services in Newfoundland and Labrador. This includes $1.8 billion for the operation of the regional health authorities – $1 billion of which is allocated to facilities outside of St. John’s.

This year, we will spend approximately $159 million province-wide in capital infrastructure – $90 million of this has been allocated for rural health care centres such as the construction of new long-term care facilities in Lewisporte and Carbonear; the continued construction of a new regional hospital in Labrador West; the redevelopment of the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor; and, the continued planning and construction of the clinics in Marystown North, Glovertown, and Flowers Cove. In addition, $45 million was announced for the purchase of capital equipment along with $26.6 million for repairs and renovations.

Mr. Speaker, in addition to investments made in Budget 2012, we have also invested over $53 million for ongoing repairs and renovations to health care centres across the province in the last two years. Seventy-four per cent of this funding was allocated to facilities in rural areas. Furthermore, we’ve invested $100 million for the purchase of capital equipment. Fifty-one per cent of which was for facilities located outside of St. John’s.

Increasing access to health care services for residents in every region across the province remains an important priority for our government. Since 2004, we have made tremendous improvements in providing quality, accessible health care services. And, through our steadfast commitment and investments, we will continue to build on these successes.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

2012 11 20                              1:55 p.m.

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