Modernization of Maisonneuve-Rosemont: Dubé rejects any reduction of the project
Health Minister Christian Dubé was at Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont due to the staffing crisis there. (File photo)
Health Minister Christian Dubé denies that his government is preparing to reduce the Maisonneuve Hospital expansion project -Rosemont (HMR), in Montreal, due to a budget overrun.
Christian Dubé wanted to set the record straight on Friday morning, following the publication of an article in La Presse which claims that the x27; scale of the project will be significantly reduced.
The title of the article was archifaux […] The decision on how we will proceed to modernize the entire hospital is not finalized, but there is a decision that is clear: what we announced, the modernization of the entire hospital, 720 rooms with approximately 250 additional rooms, we are still there, Minister Dubé assured Radio-Canada on Friday.
Earlier, on his account Twitter, he wrote: We have already put $2.5B on the table to get the work started as soon as possible. We will add the necessary sums to provide 720 beds as planned.
According to La Presse, the massive hospital modernization project was reportedly cut by the government after the projected bill rose from $2.5 billion to $4.2 billion due to soaring costs in the construction industry, as Radio-Canada reported last August.
“I'm going to be very clear… We're going to do it in stages and we'll are going to renovate the hospital and there are going to be the extra rooms that we have agreed [to build]. »
—Christian Dubé, Minister of Health of Quebec
What is complicated when you do renovation, you have to determine how you do the steps for it to be effective , he added.
In September 2021, the Minister of Health and Social Services had authorized a budget of 2.5 billion dollars to expand and redevelop the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, which had become dilapidated and too small to serve the population of eastern Montreal.
The project included a total of 720 hospital beds, compared to the current 450, 180,000 m2 of new modernized premises, a 22,500 m2 off-site building to accommodate food services, a pharmacy, warehousing and distribution supply, as well as the installation of 2,600 additional parking spaces (1,500 on floors and 1,100 underground).
The Maisonneuve-Rosemont site currently includes around fifteen buildings, some of which are older pavilions that have already reached a significant level of dilapidation. All for a sum originally valued at $2.5 billion.
But inflation and supply chain issues affecting the manufacturing industry construction skyrocketed the costs of the project, according to a financial analysis by the Société québécoise des infrastructures (SQI), which estimated that this budget would be clearly insufficient.
Built in the 1950s, Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont needs to be expanded, renovated and thoroughly modernized.
According to documents obtained by Radio-Canada under the Access to Documents Act, in March 2022, the project is now valued at more than $4.2 billion by the SQI, or 68% more. This led to the shutdown of the real estate analysis of the project, according to a progress report prepared by the SQI.
The President and CEO of the CIUSSS de l& #x27;Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal, Jean-François Fortin Verreault, had conceded at the time that the analysis of the SQI forced the CIUSSS to refocus its priorities in such a financial context .
It is extremely difficult with the increase in costs per square meter, we cannot do all of what was planned […] It's really a complex puzzle, declared to the Mr. Fortin Verreault's time, adding that it is crucial that the new HMR have at least 720 beds.
The CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l' Île-de-Montréal, which includes Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont, serves more than 27% of Montreal's population. Remember that the HMR is the only large hospital on the eastern part of the island of Montreal where more than 600,000 people live.
When the management of Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont presented a first modernization project in 2012, the work was valued at $900 million and was to extend over 10 years.
In 2018, Minister Gaétan Barrette announced that the government was moving forward with a reconstruction of the majority of the hospital buildings, the cost of which was estimated at $1.8 billion.
For comparison, the construction of the CHUM, which has 772 rooms, took 10 years and cost $3.6 billion.
On the opposition benches, the member for Îles-de-la-Madeleine and health spokesperson for the Parti Québécois, Joël Arseneau, warns Quebecers not to be fooled by this reaction from Minister Dubé .
Failing to increase the budget for the expansion of Hôpital Maisonneuve-Rosemont now, the minister is putting this important project on hold, says Joël Arseneau.
“Without a budget, timeline or plan, it's the CAQ's initial commitment that takes the edge off.” Instead of playing on words, the minister should focus on the pressing needs of a hospital that needs to be expanded to 720 beds.
— Joël Arseneau, PQ MP for the Magdalen Islands
That should be his priority, both in the media and financially. We cannot once again abandon the citizens of eastern Montreal in this way.