Decision expected soon
Province close to choosing winner to build new long-term care facility in Corner Brook
With the fall not so far off the provincial government is on track to see construction start on the new long-term care facility in Corner Brook.
While he was participating in a media opportunity at the provincial Liberal cabinet retreat in Deer Lake on Wednesday, Health Minister John Haggie said staff from the province were meeting with the three vendors interested in undertaking the project.
Corner Brook Care Partnership, Infraworks and Lark Group were shortlisted in May from a group of five to move to the request for proposals stage on the P3 (public-private partnership) build. The facility will include 120 long-term care beds, as well as 15 palliative care beds and 10 rehabilitative care beds.
Haggie said out of this process a winner will be selected for the project and construction will start this fall.
The P3 method is a new one for the province and has been met with some opposition, particularly from public sector unions.
Haggie said the province has been cautious about the process and has taken advice from industry experts.
“We had a value-for-money analysis to tell us this was the way we should really look at it.”
That showed a possible eight per cent savings as compared with the cost of a traditional build.
“We needed to do a little bit extra to make sure we got it right,” he said.
And he’s confident in following the same model with the acute-care hospital build.
As for the opposition Haggie said a lot of what needs to be done to counter it is education.
“I think the problem with P3s is they’re looking at yesteryear’s model.”
Some of the negativity, he said, is coming from an ideological-based point of view and not an evidence-base point of view.
Haggie also said the unions could have the potential for membership growth of around 200 members once the new long-term care facility is operational.
Right now, Haggie said the province has no indication of what companies may be interested in the hospital build.
“It’s a bigger project,” he said and noted the market is slightly different.
The long-term care build is estimated at $120 to $140 million, but the acute-care build would see numbers over $700 million and approaching $900 million.
Steve Crocker, left, minister of Fisheries and Land Resources and Health Minister John Haggie are seen at a cabinet retreat in Deer Lake on Wednesday.