QUEBEC CITY – The Quebec government has announced it will set aside $16 million to acquire land and develop clinical plans for a new $800-million regional hospital in Vaudreuil-Dorion, just west of Montreal.
Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette (pictured) said the much-anticipated hospital, which could have about 250 beds, will start within three to five years, but added that he couldn’t provide an exact grand opening date at this stage.
It’s estimated the facility will take more than three years to build. The new hospital will serve the Vaudreuil-Soulanges area west of the island of Montreal, which has a population of about 150,000.
Barrette said residents of the region currently rely on hospitals in Montreal and Valleyfield, as well as one just over the Ontario border, in Hawkesbury. The initial phase of the project – which includes acquiring land, preparing clinical plans and determining the needs of the population – will take about one to two years.
The second phase will take another year or two and consists of preparing building designs and specifications, followed by about three years of construction.
“The important thing is that we are freeing, if you wish, $16 million to go for the first phase, and we will not spend $16 million to stop the project. That will not happen.”
The overall cost of the project is expected to be in the $800-million range, Barrette stated, adding that figure will be incorporated into a 10-year provincial infrastructure plan.
“When we file a project like that, the money that is to be spent on the project is already provisioned. The amount of money is in the vicinity of $800 million, not $1 billion, and not $200 million either. We have a 10-year plan into which this will fit, but it is not an open project.”
Barrette didn’t exclude the possibility of a potential public-private partnership (PPP) for this project, though he added a decision is pending and that the Quebec government has taken notice of the issues plaguing the McGill University Health Centre and Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal super-hospitals in Montreal.
“If we are to enter again any project in that (PPP) form, it’ll be at a starting point where the project will be more precisely defined,” the minister said.