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New entrance at DRHC complete, officially open

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A brisk wind did not deter an outdoor event, as the completion of the new entranceway to the $23-million emergency department at Dauphin Regional Health Centre (DRHC) was celebrated, Nov. 15.
Dauphin MLA Brad Michaleski noted Dauphin reached another milestone on the DRHC project.
“It’s been a long time coming, but people in Dauphin and the Parkland region know just how badly this new emergency department was needed. The original emergency department was built 34 years ago and hasn’t been updated for 18 years,” he said.
“It was a third of the size of the emergency department we’re standing in front of today. People in this community and the region deserve a better facility and I’m extremely proud to be part of a government who delivered on this need for better care here in Dauphin and the Parkland.”
The provincial government invested more than $23 million, Michaleski said, to redevelop the emergency department and the new 16,000-sq-ft emergency department opened to the public in July.
“It has all the features a hospital in this region needs, including the enclosed ambulance garage, a resuscitation and trauma care room, better treatment exam and observation rooms, a decontamination room and a special care unit for extended emergency care patients,” he said, adding the garage allows patients to be moved directly from an ambulance into the emergency department without going outside or through public waiting areas and a new pedestrian access ramp is at the back entrance of the facility.
Work began in early 2017 to develop the emergency department in multiple phases and in the first phase, DRHC’s existing emergency department was temporarily relocated within the building to allow for major renovations.
The new emergency department began seeing patients in July, using the centre’s old entrance, while work continued on a new main entry.
DRHC is the second largest hospital within the Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) region and the redesigned layout incorporates several recommendations from the Brian Sinclair inquest report, including improving patient access to triage and providing direct access and visibility to the waiting room, for triage nurses responsible for monitoring patients.
“This new site will make a real difference for people in the community and surrounding area,” Central Services Minister Reg Helwer said.
“I’m pleased to note the investments that our government is making will ensure people across rural Manitoba have access to quality health-care services.”
Opening the new emergency department builds on other investments at the centre, Helwer said, including the installation of a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner, last December.
The DRHC front entrance and front entrance vehicle ramp opened at 7 a.m., Nov. 18.
There are two front entrances accessible from Third Street SW, for public use.
One is a direct entrance into the Emergency Department assessment and information services area, which will be open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
The other main front entrance provides access to the rest of the hospital.
The new entrances will not affect the present public entry and exits at the back of the DRHC, which are off the Jackson Street and Fourth Avenue SW entrances.
Public entrances and designated patient drop-off areas at the back of DRHC are marked by signage.
For more information, visit prairiemountainhealth.ca, or follow DRHC on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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M. A. Nyquist
REPORTER
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