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Definitely a positive step
Request for proposals issued for new hospital in Hay River

Paul Bickford
Northern News Services
Published Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A major step has been taken on the long road towards a new hospital in Hay River.

NNSL photo/graphic

Hay River will be getting a new hospital to replace the existing H.H. Williams Memorial Hospital, although at a different location. - Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

On Monday, the GNWT's Department of Public Works and Services issued a request for proposals for the design and construction of a new health centre in the community.

The department has set March 29 as the deadline for receipt of proposals.

"It's definitely a positive step," said Mayor Kelly Schofield, noting the town has been working very closely with the GNWT on the project.

"In these tough economic times, it's good to see job creation within the town and there's nothing but positive about it," he added of the request for proposals. "We get a new updated health centre, we get employment opportunity and, hopefully, we get a new set of programming through the GNWT for the health centre, as well."

Schofield said the project will benefit the town's construction companies, tradespeople and labourers.

"This is just win-win all over the place for the Town of Hay River and the GNWT, as well," he said.

In addition, the mayor believes a new hospital will help deal with the persistent problem of a shortage of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers in the community.

"What we're hoping is with a new up-to-date facility it might be more attractive to healthcare professionals who may want to relocate to Hay River," he said. "It would be one more feather in the cap for Hay River."

The new hospital will be built on the Sundog commercial area on Highway 2, across the street and railway tracks from the Super A grocery store. Groundwork has already begun on the site.

It will replace the existing H.H. Williams Memorial Hospital. The GNWT determined that structure was not worth renovating.

Contractors may obtain documents on the request for proposals from the NWT Construction Association as of Feb. 15.

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