The Quebec government will launch its first calls for tenders next week to expand and modernize the Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital (HMR). The major project, which will be carried out in one phase, provides for 720 beds, compared to just over 400 beds currently. Quebec estimates the construction cost at $2 billion, but specifies that the bill could be twice as high.
“We are respecting a commitment that we made not only to the hospital, but also to the population,” said the Minister of Health, Christian Dubé, during the announcement held Monday in the HMR amphitheater. He recalled that the CIUSSS de l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal “meets 25 or 26% of the demand [en soins] of Montreal with 15% of installations.
According to Quebec, the expansion project could be completed within eight to ten years. “The business file will be approved in 2024,” said Christian Dubé. We will launch the call for tenders for professional fees starting next week. »
The minister did not want to provide the estimated amount of investment before the launch of calls for tenders. “I want to keep as much competition as possible,” he justified.
The $2 billion cost covers only construction and not other expenses such as professional fees, clinical equipment and contingencies, he said. “The whole project is easily going to be twice that amount,” he said.
Return to one patient per room
The hospital will have 720 beds and around thirty baby bassinets. The rooms will only accommodate one patient and not two as currently.
“Access to care is the number 1 issue currently,” said Jean-Francois Fortin Verreault, president and CEO of the CIUSSS l’Est-de-l’Île-de-Montréal. We will increase the size of the hospital by more than 50%. »
Minister Christian Dubé hopes that thanks to this modernization project, Maisonneuve-Rosemont will attract “a workforce that may have deserted” due to the dilapidation of the premises.
The solidarity deputy for Rosemont, Vincent Marissal, who has been calling for new facilities for a long time, gave a short speech during the press conference. “I have never been so happy to find myself in the hospital! » he said jokingly. He stressed that it was “high time” for the project to get underway. The hospital is “outdated” and pieces of wall “are held together with pins,” he said. “An announcement is good, but a hospital is better,” he said. I hope this time is really the right one. »
Maintain access to care
Present at the press conference, the mayor of Montreal, Valérie Plante, recalled the energy deployed to develop eastern Montreal. “To come up with new projects, we still have to take care of what already exists and which is absolutely critical,” she said. Definitely, the Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital is one of these elements, one of these institutions that we must take care of. »
The hospital management says it wants to “maintain 100% access to care” during the project, which could last around ten years. “It’s going to be demanding,” admitted Jean-Francois Fortin Verreault.
Changes are already taking place in anticipation of future work. In particular, surgeries were transferred to a specialized medical center. “Next year, we will take palliative care out of the Rosemont pavilion and we will install it at the CHSLD Saint-Michel,” he explained.
The project to expand the Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital dates back to 2012, when Liberal Yves Bolduc was Minister of Health. The modernization was confirmed in 2018 by Liberal Minister of Health Gaétan Barrette. Its cost was then estimated at nearly $1.8 billion.
Two years ago, Minister Christian Dubé planned an investment of $2.5 billion for this expansion project. Radio-Canada revealed a year later that the Société québécoise des infrastructures now estimated the costs at $4.2 billion.