Long-term care centre $14M cheaper under public-private partnership, says premier

Government provides an update on a new health-care facility planned for Corner Brook.

Dwight Ball updates construction plan for centre and new hospital in Corner Brook

Premier Dwight Ball spoke with reporters on Friday to provide an update on the new Western Memorial Hospital and long-term care centre in Corner Brook. (Gary Moore/CBC)

Building a new long-term care facility in Corner Brook through a public-private partnership will save even more money than expected, according to Premier Dwight Ball. 

Ball was in Corner Brook on Friday to update the timeline for a health-care complex that will also include the new Western Memorial Regional Hospital.  

Originally the long-term care project was expected to save 8.9 per cent over the 30-year agreement, but Ball said the financial analysis shows a 10 per cent savings.  

"We found that there's over $14 million in savings for the taxpayers in Newfoundland and Labrador," he said.

Under the partnership, private companies will be hired to build and maintain the facility — which will then be leased back to government, and staffed by public sector employees.

The 120-bed long-term care home is supposed to open in 2020.

The new Corner Brook hospital is expected to open on this site in 2023. (CBC)

In the meantime, the provincial government has issued a request for qualifications from companies interested in bidding on the hospital component of the project.

"We are right on track," Ball told reporters, saying the aim is to find an industry short list to solicit proposals for the 164-bed hospital.

The replacement for the Western Memorial Regional Hospital, announced a year ago, will include the same services at the existing hospital plus an expanded cancer-care program, including radiation services. 

The combined construction of both the new hospital and the long-term care centre is expected to bring $498 million in economic activity to Newfoundland's west coast, according to government estimates.

Ball said construction is still expected to start in 2019 and finish in 2023.

About the Author

Gary Moore

CBC News

Gary Moore recently moved from Corner Brook, NL to join the CBC team in Fredericton. He's an associate producer with Information Morning.