Construction begins on $141M St. Boniface Hospital emergency department expansion

The Manitoba government announced its long awaited expansion of St. Boniface Hospital’s Emergency Department Tuesday, but will it help decrease lengthy ER wait times in Winnipeg. Alex Karpa reports.

Construction has begun on the expansion and modernization of the emergency department at Winnipeg’s St. Boniface Hospital.

Preliminary demolition work got underway Tuesday morning.

The government says the expansion project is expected to reduce emergency wait times by providing more space for patients. A release from the province says the changes will also improve the experience for patients and staff.

The goal is to renovate the 8,600 square feet of existing space and add 86,200 square feet. There will be an expanded waiting room and triage area, expanded central resuscitation area, and new CT scanner and X-ray machines.

The new St. Boniface will also have dedicated mental health treatment area, space for 10 ambulances in a new parking bay, a renovated south parking lot and a public-use outdoor garden.

The project is expected to cost $141 million.

“St. Boniface Hospital is an essential part of the health system and today’s announcement will strengthen its critical role in meeting the needs of the communities that it serves and the dedicated staff on the front line that work to care for those in need,” said Premier Heather Stefanson.

Manitoba says there were nearly 48,000 visits to St. Boniface’s emergency department in 2019. Projections are for that to increase to 55,000 once the new ER is open in the fall of 2025.

Annual visits are projected to grow to an estimated 75,000 by 2039.

“We’re both excited about, and proud of, the clinical improvements and enhancements to patient care that will result from the newly redeveloped and expanded emergency department here at St. Boniface,” said Nicole Aminot, the interim president and CEO of St. Boniface Hospital.

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