As the MLA for Timberlea-Prospect, one of my core responsibilities I have to my community is to secure public investment, which is why I continuously brought forward ideas on how to invest in modern infrastructure, among the most important being the new Bayers Lake Community Outpatient Centre. The contract, awarded in 2020, is costing the province $259.4 million for the design, construction, and financing, as well as 30 years of maintenance. Construction started that year and reached substantial completion, in August 2023. I am looking forward to the opening on November 20, 2023, on time and on budget.
With discussions beginning on the QEII New Generation project during my first term, there was a willingness to look beyond the downtown area, and I made the case both internally and at the Public Accounts Committee, that our district was the best location because of population growth, and we have unique access to the 102 and 103 highways.
After I announced this project in 2017 with Premier McNeil, I continued to advocate for ample parking and access to transit by participating at the Health Committee, in 2019. I can confirm that it will be accessible by Halifax Transit, with a new bus stop in front of the building. More recently I met with senior officials at Public Works and put forward an idea of considering another access point.
This state-of-the-art facility will have standard outpatient hours where patients can access specimen collection, such as blood tests and urine samples; diagnostic imaging, including X-ray and ultrasounds; eye care; and medical/ surgical consultations. The centre will house 30 rooms for exams and consults in the medical/surgical clinics, 24 dialysis stations, and an orthopaedic assessment and rehabilitation centre. I am also excited for the opportunities with space for primary care services. On this note, I’ve been assured in the last house session, on March 24th, by the Minister of Health that there has been “extensive workforce planning, not just for nurses, physicians, et cetera, but also for the support staff that would be working in the facility.”
The site design incorporates EV charging stations, extensive natural light within the building, views to re-naturalized landscape, and access to a network of pathways to help link patients and staff with a connection to fresh air and a natural setting and feeling of wellness. There will also be a walking trail that overlooks Black Duck Pond.
The Bayers Lake Outpatient Centre is a once in lifetime project for our entire region. I look forward to opening day, seeing all the modern equipment in action, and a better health care access point for hundreds of thousands of Nova Scotians.