Halifax hospital redevelopment to cost $2 billion, be funded with P3 model

The redevelopment of Nova Scotia’s largest hospital complex will cost about $2 billion — the bulk of which will be funded through a public-private partnership, says Premier Stephen McNeil. McNeil made the revelations for the first time since the massive project at Halifax’s QEII Health Sciences Centre was announced two years ago.

QEII, Halifax
Halifax’s existing QEII complex will be replaced by the new QEII Health Sciences Centre. Photo by Citobun via Wikimedia Commons.

“We have committed now $350 million to announcements that we’ve already made,” McNeil told reporters on Thursday.

“As we move into the next phase of this project the entire envelope that will cover that, and the new build will be roughly $2 billion.”

McNeil said the exact cost wouldn’t be available until the design is finalized and the construction bids are in.

He said an analysis of typical capital builds in the province determined that a P3 model would provide more cost certainty.

“We’ve seen huge overruns,” he said. “We believe this is the best value for the taxpayers of Nova Scotia.”

A request for qualifications will go out this fall to find a partner to design, finance and maintain the project over a 30-year period, a process expected to cost $151 million.

A news conference held with hospital officials also revealed the next phase of the project.

It would see cancer-care services shifted from the Dickson Building at the Victoria General Hospital to the Halifax Infirmary, a move aimed at eliminating patient transfers between the two sites which are just over a kilometre apart.

The Infirmary will also have an expanded inpatient care centre with more than 600 beds, 28 operating rooms, 33 intensive care beds and 15 intermediate care beds.

A new community outpatient centre will be built in Bayers Lake, although most services offered there will also remain at the Infirmary, which will continue as a community hospital for Halifax residents.

The overall project also includes renovation work underway at the Dartmouth General Hospital and the renovation of operating rooms at the Hants Community Hospital in Windsor, N.S., which were completed in February.

The project’s goal is to move services out of the existing Centennial and Victoria buildings at the Victoria General site in Halifax to prepare for their eventual closure.

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