Victoria General replacement plan presented to staff

A plan to replace the aging Victoria General hospital is being readied, while the province seeks assistance from the federal government.

Public will get its first glimpse at plan 'soon,' says Health Minister Leo Glavine

The VG hospital in Halifax has been experiencing problems for years. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

A plan for the replacement of the aging Victoria General hospital is being readied for Nova Scotians, but it's unclear when the public will get its first look at it. 

"All the departments involved are being briefed today, and I think we'll soon have a date that we'll be able to put in front of you, and Nova Scotians, what that plan looks like," Health Minister Leo Glavine told reporters Thursday. 

Staff and patients have stepped up calls in recent month for the building to be replaced

The hospital suffered a catastrophic flood in September 2015 that forced staff to cancel surgeries and scramble to save equipment. More recently, the heating system had to be shut down in the north wing after a leak on the sixth floor.

The building, which was constructed in 1947, has Legionella in the pipes, making the water unsafe for drinking. 

Help from federal government

Premier Stephen McNeil said it would be "difficult" to afford the project without outside help from the federal government. 

He raised the issue during a meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday, their first face-to-face conversation since Trudeau took office as prime minister. 

"I did talk about the VG hospital and said … we're working on what a new footprint would look like," the premier said Thursday. "We believe there's a role for several partners in that. We hope the federal government will be one of those. 

"He was, as he always is, very encouraging." 

In 2013, the health authority submitted a plan to replace the Centennial building. The plan also included a timeline to award tenders for construction slated to start this year, but no tenders have been put out. 

Finance Minister Randy Delorey said the province's capital plan will be released next week.

The annual plan covers projected spending on infrastructure such as roads, schools, and hospitals, but the health minister confirmed spending for the VG replacement will likely not be included. 

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Shaina Luck


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