Nova Scotia

McNeil promises renovations to double size of IWK emergency department

Modernizing the emergency department at the IWK Health Centre is the latest health promise by the leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia.

Construction wouldn't begin until 2019-20 fiscal year

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil makes an announcement during a campaign stop in Halifax on Tuesday. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press)

The IWK Health Centre is the latest health facility to earn the attention of Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil, who is promising major renovations to the Halifax hospital's emergency department.

In a campaign announcement Tuesday, McNeil said the ER would double in size, leading to better gynecological and pre- and postnatal care for women, and to improved mental-health services for Nova Scotians between the ages of 16 and 19.

The Liberals are promising to spend $1.2 million on design work and planning, which would start in 2018. Construction would then start in the 2019-20 fiscal year, although the party said it did not know how much the renovation would cost.

"We need to ensure that our facilities are modern, up to date, so our health professionals can continue caring for our loved ones," said McNeil.

Ten days before the May 30 election was called, McNeil announced a new outpatient centre — modelled after the Cobequid Community Health Centre — would be built in the Bayers Lake Business Park. He reiterated that promise during Tuesday's announcement about the IWK.

The PCs also made a health-care announcement Tuesday. The party is promising to increase annual funding to long-term care facilities for seniors by $8.2 million a year, an amount it said would restore cuts made by the Liberals.

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