More long-term care beds to open in Carbonear

The Newfoundland and Labrador government says 28 new beds will open at the Pte. Josiah Squibb Memorial Pavillion.

Hospital also getting new outpatient area through money allocated in 2018 budget

Premier Dwight Ball chats with Dr. Bob Farrell, chief of surgery at the Carbonear hospital, and acting mayor Chris O'Grady. (Terry Roberts/CBC)

A long-term care facility in Carbonear will get 28 new beds, through money allocated in the 2018 provincial budget.

Premier Dwight Ball joined health-care officials and municipal politicians for an announcement in the town Tuesday.

The new beds at Pte. Josiah Squibb Memorial Pavillion, opened in 2016, bring the total there to 228.

Ball said the Carbonear General Hospital will also get a new, consolidated outpatient area with construction to start this summer.

Eastern Health said the renovated space on the hospital's third floor will have a better waiting area, and more privacy for patients.

"I think it's a great announcement for improved patient care, the fact that all of our services for ambulatory outpatient stuff will be offered in an area that's condensed and everybody will have access to it. It's a lot more efficient," said Dr. Peggy Tuttle, general surgeon at the hospital.

"It's a lot more efficient, a lot more time-saving, and cost-saving at the end of the day. A family member that can come in and do a one-stop shop at a hospital, that's amazing."

Dr. Peggy Tuttle, a Carbonear surgeon, said the plans for the hospital will save time and money. (Sherry Vivian/CBC)

Currently, a patient might have to come in on the second floor, register on the main floor, go to the fifth floor for operation prep, down to the third floor for the operation, and back up to the fifth floor for recovery.

"That's a lot of going in one day," she said. "When you think about efficiencies, the time that's lost in that, that's less people that we're seeing than we could be seeing and improving our wait times and everything else in the area."

The improvements will cost $5 million, with $3.2 million allocated in the spring budget.

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With notes from Terry Roberts