The Nova Scotia government has unveiled a keystone of its health-care redevelopment plan.
Premier Tim Houston officially opened the Bayers Lake Community Outpatient Centre on Tuesday.
The province says the clinic will reduce pressure on other health facilities in the Halifax area that provide outpatient services.
Here’s a closer look at the clinic:
How much did it cost?
In August 2020, EllisDon construction was awarded a nearly $260-million contract to design, build and maintain the outpatient clinic. That cost includes the design, construction, financing and 30 years 0f maintenance on the building.
This is the province’s first public-private partnership (P3) in health care.
Who is it for?
The clinic, which is at 420 Susie Lake Cres., is aimed at serving patients who live outside the Halifax core.
It’s located near highways 102 and 103, and should reduce the number of people who need to travel to downtown for outpatient care.
The province notes it has “ample parking” on site and is on a new transit route.
It will begin seeing patients on Nov. 20, and is projected to have about 280,000 patient visits each year.
Dr. Christy Bussey, the medical executive director for Central Zone with Nova Scotia Health, said the centre is about more than delivering health care.
“It’s also about shaping a health-focused future that benefits our patients and broader community for generations to come.”
What services will it provide?
The clinic is expected to offer services such as initial visits with specialists, post-surgery follow-ups, blood collection and X-ray imaging, and is equipped with 100 clinical spaces and 24 dialysis stations.
It will also offer eye care, orthopedic assessment and rehabilitation.
Dr. Alex Mitchell, the VP of healthcare infrastructure for Build Nova Scotia, said patients in the province “struggle to get access” to these types of services currently.
“A lot of those functions here will really help improve that,” said Mitchell.
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The centre’s site manager, Kristen Goldsworthy, called it a “unique opportunity to start things up from the ground up.”
“It’s a new clinic, it’s a new space. We get to collaborate as a team to figure out how we want things to look, how we’re going to operationalize, how we’re going to provide patient care,” said Goldsworthy.
She added that the staff are internal to Nova Scotia Health, so they’re either transferring from another facility like the Halifax Infirmary or Victoria General.
“Most people are really excited to move into a new, modern building and start fresh.”
What role does the clinic play in the health-care system?
The outpatient centre is part of a major health-care infrastructure overhaul across the Halifax Regional Municipality that will include a redevelopment of the Halifax Infirmary and other aging buildings.
Houston says the clinic is “just the start.”
“This is how we’ll fix health care: one solution at a time, whether it’s more doctors, more training, more construction, more technology, more virtual care,” he told reporters Tuesday.
— with files from The Canadian Press and Global News’ Megan King
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