Canadian Underwriter
News

Leaks knock out heat temporarily at beleaguered Halifax hospital beset by floods


January 7, 2016   by The Canadian Press


Print this page

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s health minister said Thursday that he will press his federal counterpart for financial help to replace a beleaguered hospital that saw its heating system knocked out this week following a series of leaks.

Leo Glavine appeared again before reporters to talk about the latest problem at Halifax’s Victoria General Hospital site, which has been beset by floods, leaks and other maintenance and hygiene issues.

One of the heating systems was shut down for two days on all 12 stories of Halifax’s Victoria General Hospital after leaks were discovered on the sixth floor of the building on Tuesday

One of the heating systems was shut down for two days on all 12 stories of Halifax’s Victoria General Hospital after leaks were discovered on the sixth floor of the building on Tuesday

Glavine said he has already raised the issue with Health Minister Jane Philpott and will bring it up again when they meet on Jan. 20, but he didn’t elaborate on exactly what he will seek.

“We have to look at the needs of our senior population, which is growing every day,” he said. “Part of that is being able to meet their more acute needs in a hospital…so that will be one of those areas that will be on the table with the health minister.”

The need to replace the aging hospital has become more pronounced in recent months as floods have temporarily shut down certain units, postponed surgeries and displaced patients on several floors.

Related: Another flood at Halifax hospital cancels eye surgeries, postpones others

Everton McLean, a spokesman with the Nova Scotia Health Authority, said Thursday that one of the heating systems was shut down for two days on all 12 stories after leaks were discovered on the sixth floor of the Victoria building on Tuesday.

He said the forced air heating system in the hospital’s hallways was boosted to provide heat in patient rooms before the system was repaired and heat restored Wednesday night.

This latest leak also affected an area where chemotherapy treatments are prepared, but McLean said staff were able to do the work in another part of the hospital.

Related: Nova Scotia hospital postpones appointments following flood

Glavine insisted the site was safe for employees and patients, but acknowledged that they have to move ahead with replacing the building that is a major cancer care centre and sees people from across the region.

“Patients at the Victoria General site are in a high need category,” he said. “The VG, having been opened in 1947, is past its life-cycle.”

He said he expects to receive a report mid-month on plans to replace buildings at the site, a project that has been discussed by various administrations with little progress being made over the years.