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New ER under construction at Portage La Prairie

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. – Construction is now under way on a $5-million expansion and redevelopment of the emergency room at the Portage District General Hospital, Manitoba’s Health Minister Theresa Oswald announced.

“The Portage ER is one of Manitoba’s busiest, and residents deserve a state-of-the-art facility that will enhance the care of critically-ill patients,” Oswald said. “This project will nearly double the size of the treatment area while creating a more efficient space to strengthen the delivery of quality emergency care to patients in Portage la Prairie.”

The redevelopment of Portage’s 89-bed, acute-care emergency room will include:
• four additional treatment spaces, two of which will be designed as negative-pressure isolation rooms and used to prevent the spread of communicable diseases;
• an improved triage area;
• improved infection control;
• enhanced privacy; and
• a new double ambulance bay replacing the existing single bay.

“We are pleased to see this project under way,” said Kathy McPhail, chief executive officer of the Central Manitoba Regional Health Authority. “The enhancements to the emergency room will provide a much improved environment for both clients and staff.”

The minister noted the redevelopment of the emergency room follows a number of recent investments at the Portage District General Hospital including:
• a $2.1-million capital investment in a CT scanner;
• a $930,000 investment for a new fluoroscopy unit and surgical equipment;
• the relocation and expansion of the pharmacy at the hospital;
and 54 spaces for supports for seniors in a group-living project in Portage la Prairie, part of a$1.1-million investment in housing options for seniors in rural and northern areas of the province.

The province has also made other significant investments in emergency care around the province, including renovations to emergency rooms at St. Anthony’s Hospital in The Pas, as well as Winnipeg’s Seven Oaks General Hospital, Concordia General Hospital and Victoria General Hospital. In addition, the province has committed more than $4.5 million to redevelop the emergency department at Bethesda Hospital in Steinbach and invested $3 million to expand emergency medicine education at the University of Manitoba and increase incentive programs for emergency department physicians.

Construction at the Portage District General Hospital is expected to be completed in the summer of 2009.