Minister of Health Dr. Duane Sands said a $7 million overhaul of the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) at Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) is expected to be completed before May 2020.
“We recognize that accident and emergency leaves a lot to be desired and what we have decided to do is a major expansion of about 50 percent,” Sands said.
He said the redevelopment will be funded by the Public Hospitals Authority’s (PHA) capital budget and is expected “to also increase the number of patient bays, to modernize the appearance and to also improve the furnishing” and increase the amount of staff in the ward.
The two-phase expansion will include the renovation of the entrance and driveway adjacent to Elizabeth Avenue, the creation of a satellite ambulance base and the modernization of equipment in the ward, according to the minister.
A&E is often lined with gurneys with patients. On some days, there are not enough to accommodate the crowd that shows up. Patients often have to wait many hours for service.
Sands said the space in the ward is “inefficient and you have to shuttle people in and out of rooms to examine them”.
“We have basically four rooms on the southern side of accident and emergency and there’s where you can examine patients, expose them, etc.,” he said.
“All the rest are pretty much open rooms. In the chest pain area, you can pull a screen or a curtain but you have many, many people either in a hallway or on the main floor. Sometimes you can have 15 or 20 people on the floor.”
The minister said A&E will expand into the orthopedics and wound care ward in an attempt to address this inefficiency.
Sands said the expansion is expected to triple the number of examination rooms in A&E.
When asked for a timeline of the renovation, Sands said, “The contractor will start in April and then once they start that first phase, they should be done that first phase, what they call part A, in August.”
He said the second phase is slated to begin in August 2019 and be completed by April 2020.
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