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$30 million for cardiac care at St. Boniface General Hospital

WINNIPEG – Capital funding of $30 million will provide Manitobans with a state-of-the-art cardiac sciences facility at St. Boniface General Hospital, Health Minister Tim Sale has announced.

“This is the last major step in implementing the Koshal report,” said Sale. “We’ve already hired the best team leadership possible, are effectively managing the wait-list and ensuring ongoing communications about it with patients.”

The project includes:

• the establishment of a new dedicated, 15-bed cardiac intensive-care unit to support the cardiac surgery program;

• the creation of a dedicated 32-bed cardiac surgery in-patient unit;

• the development of several outpatient clinics including a cardiac pre-admission clinic, cardiac surgery preoperative and post-operative clinics, and the combination of the pre- and post-operative cardiac transplant clinics into a heart failure clinic;

• the relocation of the coronary care unit and the consolidation of St. Boniface General Hospital’s non-cardiac surgical intensive care unit and medical intensive care unit;

• the development of a six-bed chest-pain evaluation unit within the emergency department as recommended by the Emergency Care Task Force and the Cardiac Sciences Implementation Committee;

• renovations and equipment upgrades of the blood bank to accommodate cardiac surgery;

• and the development of a satellite pharmacy department to serve the cardiac unit.

This will result in the consolidation of cardiac surgery at St. Boniface General Hospital, one of the key recommendations of the Koshal report.

Dr. Brian Postl, president and CEO of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, said that Manitobans should be proud of the efforts made by the cardiac sciences team.

“This is a dedicated group who’ve worked long and hard to implement the report’s recommendations. They’ve come a long way and I know are keen to complete the task. This funding will allow that to happen.”

Dr. Alan Menkis, medical director of the Cardiac Sciences Program, said the new facility will reflect the dynamics of the program.

“The Bergen Cardiac Care Centre is addressing cardiology’s needs at St. Boniface Hospital. This new project will address the needs of cardiac surgery, anesthesia and critical care. It will result in integrated, seamless and patient-centred care and will foster closer working relationships between the staff of the cardiac sciences program.”

“The St. Boniface Hospital has been an integral part of the community and we are pleased to support its development and enhancement,” said Finance Minister Greg Selinger. “Through this new state-of-the-art facility, Manitobans will receive better patient care.”

Progress on the implementation of the recommendations of the Koshal report on heart surgery includes:

• the construction of the $9.5-million, state-of-the-art Bergen Cardiac Care Centre;

• the appointment of Menkis as overall cardiac sciences program head;

• the recruitment of strong physician leaders for cardiac surgery, cardiology and cardiac anesthesiology;

• the hiring of an additional wait-list co-ordinator to work with patients and to hold weekly meetings with surgeons to improve tracking of patients’ conditions;

• and investments in new equipment including a heart-lung machine, telemetry and monitors, as well as graft-harvesting equipment to support the consolidation of the cardiac surgery program at St. Boniface General Hospital.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2007.