BATHURST (GNB) – The provincial government is investing $27.4 million from the 2017-18 capital budget to continue construction of a five-storey addition at the Chaleur Regional Hospital.

“Your government is listening and knows that access to quality health care is important to New Brunswickers,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Brian Kenny. “Continuing to make strategic infrastructure investments allows us to modernize facilities like the Chaleur Regional Hospital, which, in turn, allows health-care professionals to continue to provide the best of care in a state-of-the-art environment.”

Kenny spoke on behalf of Health Minister Victor Boudreau.

The addition, which joins the hospital’s west facade, will total 15,712 square metres (169,130 square feet). There will also be renovations to 9,360 square metres (100,750) of space on all five floors of the front tower. The project will create room for a maternal, newborn and pediatrics unit, as well as other units for electrodiagnostics, ambulatory procedures and ambulatory care.

Construction of the addition’s foundation and structure began in September 2015 and will be completed this summer. Foulem Construction has been awarded the contract for exterior finishing. The tender for interior finishing will be awarded at the end of the summer.

The entire $217-million project is expected to be completed by December 2024.

“The Chaleur Regional Hospital expansion and renovations will significantly improve patient services by increasing the efficiency and quality of care provided by health professionals,” said Vitalité Health Network president and CEO Gilles Lanteigne.  “Seeing the construction site is an indication that we are undeniably moving toward the modernization and transformation of the health system, as mentioned in our 2017-20 strategic plan.”

As part of the project, the government invested $4.6 million to replace the hospital’s generators. That work will be completed this summer.