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Premier says extended care beds could go in old Stanton Hospital

NWT Premier Bob McLeod says extended care beds will be placed into a ‘purpose-designed unit’ at the existing Stanton Territorial Hospital once it’s no longer a hospital.

McLeod made the announcement as he welcomed MLAs back to the legislature Tuesday.

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“Looking after our people is another area we continue to make progress on,” he said. “We also continue to take steps to ensure that our elders have the support they need, where they need it.

“That includes construction on a new 18-bed long-term care facility in Behchoko and a plan to put extended care beds into a purpose-designed unit in the redeveloped Stanton building.”

McLeod says the plan will not only improve services provided to people in extended care, it will also allow the government to reallocate funding to address the shortfall in long-term care beds.

Extended care is for people who can no longer live on their own.

The territory is currently building a new hospital right beside the existing facility. The public-private project will cost the GNWT $750 million over 34 years.

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Since the massive project was announced, there’s been some debate over what should become of the existing building. Both current and past politicians have suggested it become either a mental health or addictions centre.

Once the transition to the new hospital is complete, Boreal Health Partnership – the consortium of companies building the new hospital – will be responsible for remediating the existing facility.

Beyond remediation and redevelopment, risk is born by the commercial developer – Ventura Stanton Inc. – for the life of the 30-year revenue lease agreement.

The GNWT, meanwhile, will retain ownership of the hospital and associated land over the course of the agreement.

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