In making one of his last official announcements as Newfoundland and Labrador premier, Tom Marshall has guaranteed radiation services for the new hospital in Corner Brook.

Sign for site of new hospital in Corner Brook

Construction for on-site water and sewer for the new hospital in Corner Brook will start this summer. (CBC)

Marshall made the announcement at Western Memorial Regional Hospital on Friday.

That means cancer patients will no longer have to travel to St. John's for their treatment. 

The government has hired Altus Planning to determine the best plan for radiation therapy services across the province.

Minister of Health and Community Services, Paul Davis, said it hasn't been yet determined if the new hospital will have two radiation units, or just one.

"They will come back and show the options available, one bunker or two bunkers," Davis told reporters on Friday.

"A person undergoes radiation for a lengthy period of time. If there is equipment failure or maintenance is required, that person still needs radiation. So that's what we are asking, how can we be sure those services are continued to be delivered."

​Altus Planning will give government their answers by the end of June.

Another perspective

Population numbers didn't seem to support radiation on the west coast of Newfoundland at first, but Marshall said those numbers changed.

Minister Paul Davis

Minister of Health and Community Services, Paul Davis, says Altus Planning will determine if the new hospital will have one or two radiation units. (CBC)

"The other numbers is the people that are on the road for seven or eight weeks that had to travel outside the city, having to live in St. John's. It's expensive to them, they are away from their families, they are very ill — and we talked to other professionals who gave us another perspective," Marshall said.

Construction for on-site water and sewer for the new hospital will start this summer.

The provincial Progressive Conservatives first promised a new hospital for the western region during the 2007 provincial election.

In 2013, government pledged $227 million toward the building. Several months ago, Premier Marshall announced the amount had ballooned to $607 million.