De­ci­sion ex­pected soon

Province close to choos­ing win­ner to build new long-term care fa­cil­ity in Cor­ner Brook

The Western Star - - Front Page - BY DIANE CROCKER THE WESTERN STAR [email protected]­ern­star.com Twit­ter: WS_DianeCrock­er

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.

DIANE CROCKER/THE WESTERN STAR

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.

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