New ambulatory care space for Carbonear hospital
Health minister says change good for patients, staff
A significant addition to the Carbonear General Hospital will soon be making its way to the facility.
A $3.2-million funding announcement was a major part of the recent 2018 provincial budget. The funds are put in place for an addition to the facility in the form of an ambulatory care space, and act as a part of a bigger picture for the hospital as it looks to move long-term care into one facility.
Ambulatory care covers a wide range of medical treatments on an outpatient basis – something Health and Community Services Minister John Haggie described as a “walk in and walk out” process. Ambulatory care can see to a number of services, including diagnosis, consultation, treatment, intervention, and rehabilitation.
When the catering services and cafeteria area on the hospital’s third floor was relocated as a part of these long-term care plans, Eastern Health found themselves with an empty room on the third floor, where the cafeteria was once located – a perfect place for an ambulatory care space. While there are several areas of the Carbonear General Hospital dedicated to ambulatory care, Eastern Health saw the newly empty space on their third floor as an opportunity to focus ambulatory care to one convenient location.
“What we’re looking at specifically is things like endoscopy, stress testing for heart patients, chemo therapy, with a day surgery area where patients could come in, need to go to the operating room, and then come back to recover before going home again,” said Haggie.
While the hospital’s ambulatory care spaces are currently scattered across several floors, Eastern Health’s proposal, which was entered around the same time the long-term care plans were being put in place, was to remove these smaller ambulatory care spaces, and relocate them to the one, single area, in the space that the cafeteria previously occupied. In 2016, a halt was called to this idea due to the tightness of the budget, but the trigger has finally been pulled now that the money is readily available.
“I went around the hospital myself, along with the administration, and had quite a lengthy discussion about this,” Haggie added.
“They were quite keen that this was moving ahead – it would just be so much better for patients. They’ll no longer get lost wandering around looking for the various places. Now, it’ll all be in the one area.”
Haggie noted that staffing for this space would ultimately be more effective for patients as well, as the more focused location would allow for a significant cut to wait times, as well as a central registry.
The investment for this coming year is $3.2-million, as covered by the budget, however, Haggie estimated the entire project to cost roughly $5-million once all is settled away. He said this $3.2-million will cover a lot of construction costs, such as knocking down walls, removing and replacing doors or hallways on the third floor – reconfiguring the space the new ambulatory care centre will take place in. The bulk of the equipment the centre would require, such as endoscopes, colonoscopies, or stress-testing machines, are already at the hospital, meaning more of the funding can be used to restructure the area to accommodate an ambulatory care space.
According to Haggie, the project should take up the majority of 2018, with a completion date estimated for the end of 2019, once all the technicalities of adding the new space get ironed out.
“Basically, it all comes down to efficiency and effectiveness,” Haggie said. “Anyone who comes in for a procedure or a one-day visit, they go to one place. It’s all there, so ultimately we’ll have a much better use of the space and the staff in this case.”
An ambulatory care space is currently in the works for the third floor of the Carbonear General Hospital.
Health Minister John Haggie said the new ambulatory care space announced for Carbonear General Hospital in the 2018 provincial budget will benefit patients and staff.