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Executive Council
Health and Community Services
September 9, 2010

Residents in the Western Region to Benefit from Health Care Funding

Residents living in the Western region of the province will benefit from approximately $4.7 million in Budget 2010: The Right Investments — For Our Children and Our Future . This funding will be used for the purchase of capital equipment, repairs and renovations to Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook. The Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and MHA for Humber West, along with the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Health and Community Services, were in Corner Brook today for the announcement, and were joined by the Honourable Tom Marshall, Minister of Finance and MHA for Humber East; Dr. Minnie Wasmeier, Chief Operating Officer, Secondary Services, Western Health; and, Leo Bruce, Councillor, City of Corner Brook.

"Residents of Corner Brook and surrounding communities rely on the quality health care programs and services offered at Western Memorial Regional Hospital each and every day," said Premier Williams. "Over the past number of years, we have demonstrated our strong commitment to funding for this region. Our strategic investments have included Humberwood Mental Health and Addictions Centre, a new long-term care home, and a new hospital. Today we are pleased to announce further investments to improve health care for the people of the region."

Today's funding announcement includes approximately $3.7 million for the purchase of capital equipment, including $1,030,000 for a multi-purpose digital fluoroscopy unit; $280,000 for interventional diagnostic equipment; $260,000 for a medication detection machine; $251,500 for safe patient and resident handling systems; $250,000 for an ultrasound machine; $220,000 for a modular orthopedic operating room table; $200,000 for a new sterilization unit; $100,000 for an ear nose and throat camera and microscope; $96,500 for the purchase of new beds and stretchers; $75,000 for cardiology assessment equipment; $500,000 for a new laundry press; and, $467,000 for other patient care and support equipment.

This funding also includes $500,000 for renovations to the recently-vacated fifth and sixth floors of Western Memorial Regional Hospital; $250,000 for the completion of upgrades in the maternal newborn area; and, $125,000 for renovations for the new integrated urology clinic.

"Our government recognizes that health care affects individuals in every region and community throughout the province," said Minister Kennedy. "We will continue to ensure that we are building a strong, sustainable health care system that people can depend upon now and into the future."

Since 2003, the Williams Government has invested approximately $45.5 million in capital equipment, repairs and renovations in the Western Memorial Regional Hospital. This includes nearly $33.6 million for the purchase of equipment such as a new MRI machine and CT scanner; a digital mammography unit; diagnostic, urology, and laboratory equipment; a gamma camera; beds and stretchers; an ambulance; a pharmacy medication and dispensing system; operating room and ICU equipment and monitoring systems; and, other patient care and support equipment. This also includes approximately $11.9 million for repairs and renovations, such as a new fire alarm system and panel; departmental upgrades; roof repairs and asbestos abatement; new medical gas monitoring alarms; a reverse osmosis water filtration system; and, the installation of eight new wheelchair accessible washrooms.

"I am very pleased with this funding announcement," said Minister Marshall. "This is another in a continuing series of investments that our government has made and is making to provide the best in health care services for the people of the west coast."

The Williams Government is also investing approximately $11.8 million this year for the site selection, planning and initial preparation for a new hospital in Corner Brook. A municipal services contract, including asphalt paving, curbs, and sidewalk, was tendered in June of this year. A site grading contract was tendered in late July, and work is expected to begin mid-September. Construction is anticipated to begin in August 2012 with occupancy expected in April 2017.

"The quality of services we provide will be enhanced by these upgrades to our equipment and facility," said Dr. Minnie Wasmeier, Chief Operating Officer, Secondary Services, Western Health. "We are pleased that the Provincial Government continues to make these strategic investments, which will enable us to provide the best care possible for the people in our region."

Budget 2010: The Right Investments — For Our Children and Our Future provided an investment of $208.9 million for health care infrastructure throughout the province. This includes $177.3 million for new facilities and equipment, and $31.6 million for repairs and renovations.

This year's budget also included $3 million for completion of the new long-term care home in Corner Brook, which opened in June. The 236-bed residential facility features a protective care and a behavioral unit, as well as a dedicated Veterans unit. This facility complements four, recently-completed protective community residences, which offer a new model of residential and community care designed to promote independence and improve the quality of life for individuals with mild to moderate dementia. The new long-term care home and protective community residences represent a total investment of $68.5 million.

In 2009-10 and 2010-11, the Provincial Government also invested a total of $750,000 to make several upgrades to seniors' cottages in Corner Brook, including the replacement of roofs, siding, windows and exterior doors.

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Media contacts:

Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier

Andrea Nolan
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 727-0991

Tansy Mundon
Director of Communications
Department of Health and Community Services
709-729-1377, 685-2646

Lary Wells
Executive Assistant to
Hon. Tom Marshall,
MHA for Humber East

Heidi Staeben-Simmons
Director of Communications
Western Health
709-637-5252, 632-4266



2010 09 09                                                      12:55 p.m.

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