The $22 million expansion and redevelopment of the emergency department at Steinbach’s Bethesda Hospital is well underway and yesterday the temporary interim emergency room opened for business in the community health services building. This announcement was made by Health Minister Theresa Oswald.
“This is a major redevelopment of an important health centre that must take place while still providing front line services to the residents of Steinbach and southeast Manitoba,” said Oswald. “This expansion will add capacity for the hospital to support the city and area, which is one of the fastest growing populations in the province.”
Before construction on the new, expanded emergency department could begin, an interim emergency department was built to ensure uninterrupted emergency care services during the redevelopment project. The community service building is located immediately beside the health centre and on the same grounds. Construction on the new, expanded permanent emergency department is now underway and will last approximately 18 months. Emergency care services will return to the expanded and redeveloped space after construction, anticipated in late 2013.
“Preparations for this move have been underway for some time now. The temporary ER has been well planned and we’re happy to be at this phase in the project. People in the region can expect to use this temporary ER for about a year and a half as the Bethesda ER Expansion Project continues to move along as planned.” Said Kathy McPhail, CEO, Southern RHA.
Bethesda Regional Health Centre hosts one of the busiest emergency departments in the province with approximately 25,000 patient visits per year. The expansion will feature 24 patient treatment and examination spaces including an expanded emergency department with new private admitting and triage areas, a mental-health examination room, a new observation unit and enclosed ambulance drop off and drive through. The expansion project also includes the addition of a new dedicated special-care unit. The temporary emergency department will be key to enabling the overall completion of the project on a timely basis.
The minister noted that expanded emergency department builds on previous investments the province has made to Bethesda Hospital, including expanded outpatient chemotherapy and obstetric facilities and the addition of a CT scanner.