Nova Scotia’s health minister says the Dartmouth General Hospital will get some work this year, but it won't be on the long-awaited expansion of the hospital's fifth floor.

Instead, Leo Glavine says the third and fourth floors will be renovated.

“There is a problem there with infection control and that has to be addressed. The fifth floor and QE2 renovations need to now work in concert with one another and we hope to have some firm plans very shortly in that regard,” he said.

There will be some movement on the unoccupied fifth floor. Glavine said the $7-million job to design it will go ahead this year.

The hope is to add 51 beds on that floor to help meet a steadily growing demand at the Dartmouth General.

Although plumbing, pipes and sprinklers are installed on the fifth floor, the area has only been used for storage since it was built in 1988.

New home for nuns

Glavine confirmed to CBC News the provincial government is also getting set to announce a new seniors' home for Antigonish.

The residence will be the new home to the aging nuns at the Bethany home, the motherhouse to the Sisters of St. Martha.

“Within this year we'll be looking at Bethany for replacement of the 25 beds they have currently in their infirmary. And it's one that I have committed to and it's now a matter of the final logistics and details before we make the firm announcement,” he said.

Glavine says the motherhouse is too old to renovate and the project moved to the top of the priority list after the fire marshal's office recommended the nuns be moved to a facility with sprinklers.