N.S. to spend $2.7 million looking to improve Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre

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The Nova Scotia government is spending more than $2.7 million over the next two years looking to improve the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre in Amherst, N.S.

In a news release Wednesday, the province said the money will be used to "complete feasibility assessments, site investigations, schematic design and design development work for the redevelopment of the emergency department and the addition of a 12-station dialysis unit."

"Our staff and physicians are challenged to provide optimal care to our patients in the current physical space," Dr. Janneke Gradstein, medical site lead with the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre, said in the release.

"The redevelopment of our hospital's emergency department, and expansion of dialysis services to reflect the care needs of this region, represent a needed and very appropriate investment in health care for this area."

The assessments will focus on how to address the volume being seen in the emergency department, which sees more than 20,000 patients each year. It will also look to add extra privacy and accommodate more complex cases.

It will also consider demand and capacity for dialysis services in the area. Currently, residents receive those services in Springhill, Truro, Moncton and Halifax.

"I'm pleased work is moving forward to explore modernizing the emergency department and a new dialysis unit," Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine said in the release. "These initial steps will lay the groundwork for improvements at Cumberland Regional that will better serve patients in the area."

A design consultant is expected to get started on the project by spring 2021.