Construction begins on St. Boniface Hospital emergency department expansion

Construction has officially begun on the $141 million project to expand and modernize St. Boniface Hospital’s emergency department.

Premier Heather Stefanson and Health Minister Audrey Gordon were on hand to break ground on the project Tuesday.

The province said the upgrades will reduce wait times and length of stay in the department, improve patient and staff experiences, and maximize functionality and flexibility with expanded space for more patients.

The province said the upgrades will reduce wait times and length of stay in the department, improve patient and staff experiences, and maximize functionality and flexibility with expanded space for more patients.

The project will renovate over 18,000 square feet of existing space and add 86,200 square feet in new construction. The facility is billed as inclusive and barrier-free, featuring an expanded waiting room and triage area, an expanded central resuscitation area, and a dedicated ambulance entrance and parking bay for 10 ambulances.

A design rendering shows proposed plans for the St. Boniface Hospital’s new CIA work stations an treatment areas. (Image Source: Winnipeg Regional Health Authority)

The project is expected to be completed by the fall of 2025.

“A new, expanded and modern emergency department at St. Boniface Hospital will advance our shared goal to increase system-wide capacity and improve patient care across the province,” Premier Stefanson said.

“St. Boniface Hospital is an essential part of the health care system, and today’s announcement will strengthen its critical role in meeting the needs of the communities that it serves and the people that work to care for those in need.”

According to the province, there were nearly 48,000 ER visits in 2019 to St. Boniface Hospital. Based on population growth and age projections, the expanded facility is expected to accommodate 55,000 yearly visits once it opens.

Visits are expected to balloon to 70,000 and up to 75,000 by 2039.

The “inclusive and barrier-free” design for the upgrade to St. Boniface Hospital’s emergency department includes an expanded waiting room and triage area, shown here in a design rendering image. (Source: Winnipeg Regional Health Authority)

“People who come to our emergency departments do so on what could be one of the most difficult days of their lives. Here at St. Boniface, there are tens of thousands of visits like this every year, and we know this is expected to grow over time,“ Health Minister Gordon said.

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority President and CEO Mike Nader said the expansion will have an enormous impact on the health care system as a whole.

“The current emergency room was built to meet the needs of generations past. The new ED will meet the future needs of future generations. The improvements resulting from this project will have enormous impacts on the system and for patients in our community,” Nader said.

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