Doctors at Saint John Regional Hospital say theirfacility is already prepared to become New Brunswick's new trauma centre.

The Region 2 Health Authority Board listened on Monday night to a presentation from the hospital's trauma doctors, who said the services needed are already in place, and would cost millions more to replicate elsewhere.

Dr. Andrew Trenholm, an orthopedic surgeon at Saint John Regional, said the hospital has cared for the sickest of the sick for the past 10 years, and should continue for the next 10.

Trenholmnoted thatthe hospital is equipped with a heli-pad.

"Helicopters are a lot more flexible," Trenholm said. "They can fly in worse weather, they can land maybe at the scene of the accident to pick up a patient."

The Saint John Regional is already recognized as one of only 13 top-tier trauma centres in the country, he said,and is the only provincial hospital with cardiac, neurological and orthopaedic specialties together — all needed in a trauma centre.

Regional Health Authority president Dora Nicinski said Saint John Regional is already acting as the centre for trauma care in New Brunswick.

Trenholm said the hospital is being reviewed by national trauma experts this spring to maintain its rating, and he expects by then Health Minister Mike Murphy will have announced which hospital will be designated the province's new trauma centre.