N.B. minister promises new $85M psychiatric hospital
New Brunswick Health Minister Mike Murphy has promised Tuesday's capital budget will include $85 million for a new psychiatric hospital in Campbellton.
The Liberal government's top health-care priority is to replace the current Restigouche Hospital Centre, which was built in the 1950s, Murphy said at a speech in Moncton on Monday.
The new hospital will be built through a public-private partnership, said the minister.
There is not enough usable space in the current 175-bed facility and some parts of the building have no heat or water, and have recurring pest problems, he said.
The Restigouche Hospital Centre has an average of 225 admissions annually.
The government has previously been criticized for a bed shortage at the hospital, which is the only facility in the province where court-ordered psychiatric assessments are administered.
New Brunswick OmbudsmanBernard Richard is also examining the availability of mental health services for inmates in the province.
Richard has already called for the closure of New Brunswick Youth Centre in Miramichi in favour of establishing a facility that provides treatment for youth suffering from severe behaviour misconduct and mental illness, he said.
"For a long time, because of the lack of psychiatric facilities in New Brunswick, we have in some respects criminalized those with mental health challenges," Murphy said.
The capital budget will also include investments in Moncton's two hospitals, he said.