Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre emergency room renovations to cost $765,000

Renovations at the Health Sciences Centre to accommodate an expected influx of patients amid ER closures now have a price tag.

Renos done as ERs at Victoria, Seven Oaks hospitals changed to urgent care centres, while Concordia ER closes

Health Sciences Centre's emergency ward will be renovated to accommodate more patients. (CBC)

Renovations at Health Sciences Centre to accommodate an expected influx of patients now have a price tag.

It will cost $765,000 to renovate the hospital's emergency room before half the city's ERs close, Winnipeg Regional Health Authority officials said.

The province announced earlier this year the emergency rooms at the Victoria and Seven Oaks hospitals would be converted to urgent care centres, while Concordia's ER will close completely.

Lori Lamont, the health authority's chief nursing officer, said the renovations are necessary to provide extra space for patient care and for required specialists.

"We identified that in our planning, that we would need to do some expansions of the space in the emergency department at Health Science Centre and at St. Boniface [Hospital]," Lamont siad.

The emergency room at the Grace Hospital already has room for more patients, she said. 

The renovations will expand the clinical treatment spaces in the ER and provide more room for lower-acuity patients, Lamont said.

"With the change at Misericordia Hospital, from an urgent care to our Community IV Therapy site, we expect that some of our patients from the downtown area will shift to going to Health Sciences Centre, and this will allow us additional capacity for that."

The renovations will also allow the current ER space to be rearranged to make things more efficient for staff and patients.

While the renovations are happening, space next to HSC's emergency room will be utilized to treat people, said Lamont.

The renovations are scheduled to be complete before Victoria and Seven Oaks hospitals become urgent care centres in 2018. Work is expected to start this fall.

The announcement about the renovations was made in April, when the plans to close some ERs and convert others were announced, she said.

"Now we've actually gotten to the point where we've sent out the request for proposals to engage consultants and really start the construction process."

Lamont said she could not release the estimated cost for the renovations at St. Boniface Hospital until the request for proposals goes out.