March 26, 2010
CAMPBELLTON (CNB) - The first tender associated with the construction of a new psychiatric hospital to replace the aging Restigouche Hospital Centre has been issued. Work is expected to begin later this spring.
"The establishment of this state-of-the-art facility is an important step in ensuring that New Brunswickers with serious mental illnesses receive the care they need in an environment that allows them to participate in their recovery, lead purposeful lives and contribute to their communities," said Premier Shawn Graham.
The tender, which will officially open today, will be advertised in provincial and local newspapers as well as the New Brunswick Opportunities Network. The work consists of the relocation of underground utilities to serve the new facility. Additional tender calls are expected later this spring for demolition and other site preparations.
The provincial government intends to build the new facility as a public-private partnership, and it is preparing to issue a request for expressions of interests (EOI) in April. During that phase of the process, EOIs will be sought by private developers capable of designing, constructing, financing and maintaining the facility over 30 years.
"Our hope is that engaging a private-sector partner in the development of this facility will encourage creative, cost-effective proposals that will allow our government to establish a more modern and appropriate facility to meet the needs of New Brunswickers for many years to come," said Supply and Services Minister Ed Doherty. "We look forward to considering the proposals brought forward by the development community and seeing construction begin on this important project."
The Restigouche Hospital Centre serves individuals primarily from Regional Health Authority (RHA) A who require mid- to long-term psychiatric services; the facility also provides provincial forensic services.
"This facility will have an increased focus on rehabilitation to serve individuals with mental illness better," said Health Minister Mary Schryer. "The Department of Health has engaged officials from the regional health authorities, families and persons with mental illness in the planning process for this state-of-the-art facility, which will provide care to vulnerable residents with serious mental-health illness."
The centre will have 140 beds and replace the existing one, which is more than 50 years old. It will have more than 40 new staff members to support improved therapeutic interventions for patients.
"RHA A is seeking to increase the importance and the position of mental health within its health services," said Aldéa Landry, chair of RHA A. "In that regard, construction of a new facility to replace the Restigouche Hospital Centre will mark a major step and serve as a springboard for the enhancement of our mental-health care and services."
The new centre is one of several initiatives undertaken by the provincial government to improve mental-health services. Others include:
MEDIA CONTACTS: Danielle Phillips, communications, Department of Health, 506-444-3821; Maxime Mallet, communications, Regional Health Authority A, 506-544-3678.