McNeil government fails to invest in Centennial Building replacement
January 19, 2016
NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says it’s unfortunate that replacing the Centennial building is not a priority of Stephen McNeil and Health Minister Leo Glavine. She says with only $1.5 million contained in the capital budget for relocation planning, it’s clear the McNeil government is content to sit on its hands and do nothing while conditions at the facility continue to deteriorate.
In 2013 the Department of Health received a feasibility study from Capital Health into the replacement of the Centennial building which included the estimated cost and timeline for the project. In May of 2014, Leo Glavine announced that the province would proceed into “Phase 2” of the project, but today that appears to have been halted. Specifically, the proposed 2016 expansion of the Halifax Infirmary is not going ahead as scheduled.
“The conditions at the Centennial building aren’t acceptable for patients or health care workers, and its replacement needs to be fast-tracked, not put on hold,” says MacDonald. “The fact that the province’s capital budget for hospitals has actually decreased slightly from the previous year only serves to highlight the lack of attention health care infrastructure has received from the McNeil government.”
She adds, “This is a government that has not only ignored deteriorating conditions at the Maritimes’ only tertiary hospital, but has also allowed emergency room closures to increase by 30% in the past year while placing a moratorium on new long term care beds and cutting funding to nursing homes.”