FREDERICTON (GNB) – A new intensive care unit (ICU) at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton is scheduled to admit its first patients on Feb. 14.

“The construction of this unit is an important development in the delivery of critical health care for patients in the region,” said Health Minister Bruce Fitch. “Making improvements to provide the dependable public health care that New Brunswickers deserve is one of our government’s priorities. Investing in infrastructure and increasing capacity in our hospitals across the province will provide new, modern facilities to help alleviate pressure on our system.”

The project will increase the ICU from eight beds to 12. The unit will cover about 1,514 sq. metres (16,300 sq. feet) and represents an investment of about $21.75 million.

"I am proud of the contribution that our department has made toward a more modern and innovative intensive care unit," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jeff Carr. “The completion of this project marks a significant step in improving this hospital’s work environment for staff, and critical care capacity for New Brunswickers who live in this region.”

The ICU construction is part of a $250 million project to provide a modernized environment for maternal and newborn care, surgical care, and day surgery that is expected to be completed by March 2024. Further renovation projects for ambulatory procedures, phlebotomy, and health records services are expected to be complete by 2028.

“We are making significant infrastructure improvements at three regional hospitals to improve patient care and upgrade our space and equipment in order to retain and attract health-care professionals. That is why we are pleased to announce the opening of our intensive care unit in Fredericton, which is one of many milestones to come,” said Margaret Melanson, interim president and CEO of the Horizon Health Network. “This new space is impressive and will greatly improve the experience for our patients, clients and staff.”

The new ICU will improve access to care as well as include quiet spaces for families while their loved ones are in critical care. Each patient care room will be private, with its own bathroom and window.

“The opening of a new intensive care unit in Fredericton is part of a major new development for our hospital to make it a state-of-the-art facility where our multidisciplinary team of specialists can offer the best care available for our sickest patients,” said Dr. Zeeshan Aslam, Horizon’s department head of intensive care for the Fredericton area. “The new unit was developed with a focus on patient and family-centred care and to provide complex, critical care in a healthy environment with the incorporation of the best modern technology.”