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$20 million for Grace Hospital Emergency Department

From left: Adam Topp, COO Grace Hospital, the Honourable Pearl McGonigal, Chair, Grace Hospital Foundation, the Honourable Greg Selinger, Premier, Sharon Blady, MLA Kirkfield Park and the Honourable Theresa Oswald, Minister of Health.

Winnipeg Health Region
Published Thursday, March 24, 2011

The provincial government will invest over $20 million to expand, renovate and modernize the Grace General Hospital Emergency Department to create a modern facility that will continue to provide high quality patient care, Premier Greg Selinger announced today.

“A new, expanded emergency department at the Grace will meet the needs of patients and will support doctors, nurses and other health professionals with the modern, state-of-the-art space and equipment they need to meet the health-care needs of their patients,” said Selinger. “The Grace has offered compassionate, high quality care to Manitobans for over 100 years and today’s announcement will ensure the hospital remains an essential part of west Winnipeg for the century ahead.”

In addition to redeveloping and expanding the emergency department, the province is also providing $1.5 million to add additional health-care professionals and capacity starting this spring to meet a recent increase in ED visits to the hospital.

“After several years of steady traffic, the number of ED visits to the Grace increased by over 18 per cent last year. The $1.5 million will facilitate the hiring of additional health professionals to help serve the growing demand,” said Health Minister Theresa Oswald. “As well, a specialized unit with 10 additional beds will be created to provide complex care tailored to the specific and unique needs of the larger number of seniors who attend the Grace emergency department.”

The new Emergency Department will be designed to improve patient flow by adding a new triage area and a rapid-assessment zone in the waiting room while also expanding the minor-treatment area. The additional health-care professionals will enable more timely assessment and care of non-critical patients, freeing up physicians’ time for critical cases and relieving pressure on the entire department.

“There have been many advances in emergency medicine since the Grace emergency department was last upgraded,” said Arlene Wilgosh, President & CEO, Winnipeg Health Region. “The new space will allow for significant improvements in infection control and patient privacy, as well as improved overall visibility for monitoring patients.  We look forward to seeing faster ED care and improved patient outcomes with these upgrades.”

In addition to the new emergency department, west Winnipeg residents will also benefit from ACCESS St. James, a one-stop, primary care clinic, health and social services centre. Construction is anticipated to begin within the next few months on what will be the fifth ACCESS Centre in Winnipeg.

“We’re very pleased with all of the health-care investments being made in west Winnipeg,” said Pearl McGonigal, chair, board of directors, Grace Hospital Foundation. “We look forward to the redevelopment of the emergency department as well as the ACCESS Centre next door that will improve access to primary care, community health and social services.”

“While we have focused on developing state-of-the-art emergency departments, we also know patients need alternatives for non-emergency cases,” said Selinger. “Our plan is to ensure every Manitoban has a family doctor by 2015 including ACCESS Centres and quick-care clinics, which are examples of how we are making sure families have access to the care they need when they need it.”

The current Grace Emergency Department was built in 1967 and renovated in 1992-93. Since that time, space requirements in emergency departments have increased due to technological developments in equipment, the requirement for more specialized supplies and advances in computer technology. Improvements in isolation areas for infectious patients and a greater emphasis on patient safety have also increased the demand for space.

Planning for the new Grace emergency department will begin immediately with construction anticipated to begin in 2013 and an estimated completion date of 2015, said the premier.

The redevelopment of the Grace emergency department will complete the expansion or upgrading of all emergency departments in Winnipeg hospitals. Phase II of the Victoria General Hospital emergency department expansion is nearing completion and is expected to open this summer.

Source: Manitoba Government

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