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The Government of Nova Scotia, a province in eastern Canada, has announced that the redevelopment of the QEII Health Sciences Centre, known as the QEII New Generation project, will be partly undertaken through a public-private partnership (P3). The total cost of the project is estimated to be CAD2 billion (US$1.54 billion).
A major expansion of the existing Halifax Infirmary is the biggest component of the project. Once complete, the new hospital will include the new QEII Cancer Centre, an expanded inpatient care centre with over 600 hospital beds, 28 operating rooms, 33 intensive care beds and 15 intermediate care beds, a new outpatient centre and a new innovation and learning centre that will include three learning and training labs.
This expansion will enable the eventual closure of the Centennial, Victoria (opened in 1948) and Dickson buildings of the Centre.
The QEII New Generation project also includes the development of a new community outpatient centre in Bayers Lake, offering a more convenient location for the thousands of Nova Scotia residents who currently have to travel to Halifax for certain care or services.
The P3 will follow a design-build-finance-maintain model. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will be issued this fall (autumn). The provincial government aims to have an agreement in place with their selected partner in 2020. The length of the P3 contract will be 30 years.
The decision to use P3 has been attributed to the greater certainty, in comparison to standard procurement, that work will be completed on budget and as ordered. However, it is being challenged. The Nova Scotia Health Coalition has voiced its opposition to the project, citing evidence of lower costs under public procurement and the lack of certainty that the private partner will be able to meet its financial obligations for the full length of the contract.
This project adds to a considerable number of hospitals across Canada currently being developed through P3s. This year alone, four hospital projects have been awarded - the Royal Inland Hospital Patient Care Tower project in Kamloops (British Columbia province), the West Park Healthcare Centre in Toronto (Ontario), phase two of the Brockville General Hospital redevelopment (Ontario) and the Michael Garron Hospital project in Toronto.