North Cumberland Memorial Hospital in Pugwash.

Plans to replace North Cumberland Memorial Hospital in Pugwash are moving ahead.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil announced the plan on April 11, saying a request for proposals for a design consultant is expected to be out next month. The plan includes having a consultant in place by mid-summer.

“We are investing in infrastructure for a healthier Nova Scotia,” said McNeil in a press release. “Building this modern facility will allow us to continue meeting the needs of the community for years to come.”

The government is planning to work with the Nova Scotia Health Authority to have a final design in place by the spring of 2018, with construction beginning in the fall.

“We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with our health-care team and community stakeholders to help identify current and future needs as we work towards building healthier communities,” said Lindsay Peach, vice-president with Nova Scotia Health Authority. “The next phase of this project will provide an opportunity to create a new health-care facility with flexibility in its design to meet the changing needs of the community.”

The new facility will include primary health care, urgent and collaborative emergency care, laboratory and diagnostic imaging, inpatient care, and rehabilitation services.

The current hospital has been open at its current site since 1966 and offers primary care services, a collaborative emergency centre, and diagnostic services.