Steinbach hospital upgrade will add beds, bring health-care services closer to residents

A new $32-million expansion and renovation of the Bethesda Regional Health Centre in Steinbach will increase acute care capacity and create a new renal dialysis unit, the Manitoba government announced Friday.

As a result, people in the region will receive health care closer to home instead of travelling Winnipeg for many services and procedures, Premier Kelvin Goertzen said at a news conference. 

“We knew before the pandemic that we needed to have stronger regional centres outside of Winnipeg, that it couldn’t just be Winnipeg bearing the load for health care,” said Goertzen, who is the MLA for Steinbach.

The project will add 23 acute care beds, more surgical capacity and six renal dialysis stations.

It will also improve palliative and end of life care, treatment of chronic and cardiopulmonary disease and women’s health services, a news release says.

Construction on the Bethesda Regional Health Centre expansion is expected to begin in spring 2022. (Ian Froese/CBC)

Pharmacy upgrades will support the delivery of chemotherapy services.

“This is indeed great news for southern Manitoba,” said Stan Toews, reeve of the Rural Municipality of Hanover, which surrounds part of Steinbach. “With a growing population, there is ever more need.”

The RM has received letters and petitions calling for expanded services at the hospital, which it has forwarded on to the provincial government, Toews said.

“The addition of offering dialysis at Bethesda hospital will make life a lot easier for people that are in need of dialysis here in the southeast. It will save them many hours of travel, and also money.”

Construction of the new dialysis unit is expected to begin in spring 2022.

With this expansion, the Bethesda centre will become a regional hub for health care, one of several the province is aiming to create through its clinical services strategy.

Other projects announced as part of the strategy include a $70-million expansion and renovation of the Brandon Regional Health Centre and the city’s Western Manitoba Cancer Centre, and construction of a new $283-million, two-storey hospital in Portage la Prairie.

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