Nova Scotia hospital redevelopment project begins search for design team

The Nova Scotia government has issued two requests for supplier qualifications for the estimated $2-billion redevelopment of Atlantic Canada’s largest hospital complex.

The province says it has begun the search for the team that will design, construct, finance and maintain new construction at Halifax’s QEII Health Sciences Centre, which is to be done through a public-private partnership or P3 funding model.

Halifax’s existing QEII complex will be replaced by the new QEII Health Sciences Centre. Photo by Citobun via Wikimedia Commons.
Halifax’s existing QEII complex will be replaced by the new QEII Health Sciences Centre. Photo by Citobun via Wikimedia Commons.
The pair of requests issued Monday are for a new community outpatient centre to be built in Bayers Lake, and for upgrades and additions to the Halifax Infirmary site. The latter includes the construction of a cancer centre and outpatient and inpatient centres, new hospital beds, operating rooms and an innovation and learning centre.

Separate requests are being issued for the two sites because of the differences in size and complexity of the two developments.

The deadline for submissions for the Bayers Lake project is March 22, while the Halifax Infirmary site deadline is April 26.

To date the government has committed to spending $350 million, including $151 million for the design phase of the project.

Health-care services will be delivered publicly under the funding model, while the private partner will be responsible for construction costs and building maintenance. The government will lease the facilities until it takes back ownership at the end of the 30-year period.

During an announcement in October, officials said the Infirmary will have an expanded inpatient care centre with more than 600 beds, 28 operating rooms, 33 intensive care beds and 15 intermediate care beds.

The Bayers Lake outpatient centre is to handle an estimated 28,000 clinic visits and 30,000 X-ray and lab visits a year, although most services offered there will also remain at the Infirmary, which will continue as a community hospital for Halifax residents.

Construction at Bayers Lake is expected to begin in the summer of 2020, while the Infirmary work is expected to start in late 2020.

The government says the overall redevelopment will allow services to be moved out of the aging Centennial and Victoria buildings on the Victoria General site, in order to prepare for their eventual closure.

The project also includes the expansion and renovations of Dartmouth General Hospital and new and renovated operating rooms at Hants Community Hospital in Windsor, N.S.