Quebec to invest $1 billion in
MONTREAL – The
Quebec government has OK’d a budget of $995 million to redevelop and
expand the Ste. Justine children’s hospital. That’s nearly twice the
cost of an earlier plan.
That investment – by a government that’s hard-pressed for cash, and a
province that faces a shortage of nurses – will help maintain Ste.
Justine as the largest mother-and-child healthcare and research facility
The funding announcement was made by Premier Jean Charest (pictured) at
a news conference with Health Minister Yves Bolduc, Finance Minister
Raymond Bachand and Environment Minister Pierre Arcand.
According to the Premier, the advanced healthcare centre will help draw
skilled personnel and researchers to Quebec.
“It says: ‘There’s a future here.’ It’s a very powerful thing. We’re
conscious of that,” Charest said. “Apart from the fact that we’re doing
the research in French, which in Quebec is very important.”
The government is contributing $925 million, with the Ste. Justine
hospital foundation raising $70 million. The funds will cover the
construction of two new buildings, one for a research centre and one for
specialized units that will house neonatal and pediatric intensive care,
neonatology and birthing rooms, surgical and medical imaging.
The new buildings will increase Ste. Justine’s size by 65 percent to
The research centre will have 82 wet laboratories for basic research,
plus a dry lab floor for clinical research. Also, the hospital’s current
count of 170 full-and part-time researchers is to increase to 250.
By the time the overhaul is complete, the hospital will have 419 new
beds, 216 in the new buildings and 158 in the renovated facility.
Noting that McGill University Health Centre runs a thriving pediatric
hospital, the Montreal Children’s Hospital, Charest said there is room
in the city for both.
“Both are fulfilling important missions. In other words, there’s
certainly enough research and work to be done for both of them,” he
said, adding construction of the Children’s new hospital is starting at
the Glen Yards in Montreal. “We’ll be putting a shovel in the ground at
the Children’s soon and we’ve been involved in that and both of them are
magnificent institutions,” he said of the two pediatric organizations.
The Children’s will have 154 pediatric single-patient rooms. Former
Children’s director Nicholas Steinmetz said that in a province the size
of Quebec, having two specialized children’s hospitals is hardly a
If there was only one and there was a problem, such as an outbreak of
infectious disease, he asked: “Where would the children go?”
The advantage at the Children’s is its proximity to adult services, he
said. Ste. Justine expects to put a call for tenders this fall and
construction is to start in 2011. New construction is to be completed by
2016 with the entire renovation done in 2018. The overhaul is
traditional, which means it is not a private-public partnership.
Posted August 26, 2010