Long-awaited Vaudreuil-Dorion hospital will be twice as big as expected

The future Vaudreuil-Soulanges Hospital, west of Montreal, will have 404 beds and 10 operating rooms, the Quebec government announced on Thursday.

Work on the $1.5B project west of Montreal is expected to start in 2022 and be done by 2026

Philippe Couillard said the new hospital will meet the needs of people in the Montérégie region. (Sudha Krishnan/CBC)

It's been a long time coming, but residents west of Montreal will soon have a hospital of their own — and it will be twice as big as previously expected.

The future Vaudreuil-Soulanges Hospital will have 404 beds, 10 operating rooms and an emergency room large enough to fit 41 stretchers, the provincial government announced on Thursday.

Work on the $1.5-billion project in Vaudreuil-Dorion, just west of Montreal, is expected to start in 2022 and be done by 2026.

"It's not too often we get to announce plans for a bigger hospital in Quebec," Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard said.

Access to emergency care

Residents in the area have long complained about not having nearby access to emergency and specialized healthcare.

The Lakeshore General Hospital in Pointe-Claire is the closest hospital serving the region. But it is known for being overcrowded with long wait times.

Fred Agnew, who works on English access programs in health and social services for the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region, said the new hospital would give residents the services they need closer to home.

"They don't have to get in their cars and drive to the Glen site, or Lakeshore, or Hawkesbury, or somewhere else to get the services they need," he told CBC.

The new hospital will address the needs of a growing local population, officials said.

The hospital will be built on land near the intersection of Highway 30 and Route 340 in Vaudreuil-Dorion. (Veronique Brisson/CBC)

It will also allow the province "to improve the quality of life of citizens in the region," Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said in a statement.

Asked about the timeframe for the project, Barrette said: "We could dig a hole tomorrow, but we are building a hospital, not a quarry."

Of the 404 beds in the new facility, 217 will be devoted to general medicine, 94 to surgery, 24 to pediatrics, 25 to obstetrics and 44 to psychiatry, the government said.

The facility will be built on a 250,000-square-metre plot of land near the intersection of Highway 30 and Route 340.

"Citizens are eagerly awaiting construction of the new hospital," said Marie-Claude Nichols, the Liberal MNA for Vaudreuil.

With files from Sudha Krishnan