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The Medical School and University Hospital project was first considered in the period 1961-1963, and its need and feasibility was supported by Lord Brain in his study and subsequent report on the Health Services in the Province in 1965-1966. It also demonstrated and reaffirmed the MacFarlane report of 1966. Following a conference held in St. John’s in the fall of 1966 to discuss the effects of the establishment of a health sciences centre, a Brief to the Government of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador was prepared and submitted by the University in November 1966. A commitment in principle was made by Premier Smallwood on behalf of the Provincial Government on 18 April, 1967, recognizing the immense benefits, which would accrue to the Province’s health resources as a result of the institution of a medical school and university hospital.
The publication of the Royal Commission on Health Services in Canada and the subsequent establishment of the Health Resources Fund by the Federal Government confirmed the local and national need to train more medical and para-medical practitioners and assisted in no small measure in establishing the viability of the project terms and initial cost. The University, in recognising the close disciplinary relationships between the Health and Life Sciences and the academic and economic benefits, which would be achieved, decided in 1967 to integrate the Life and Health Sciences into one physical and administrative complex. The facilities in this complex would include schools of the health-related professions in a similar close association to the continuing benefit of Newfoundland and Labrador.
In the summer of 1968, following the appointment of the Dean of Medicine, work began on functional planning and development of a master plan for the Health and Life Sciences Centre within the framework of Sir Frederick Gibberd’s master plan for the University as a whole. This planning and development document found here in this collection, is divided into two parts and defines the functional objectives of the proposed Centre, outlines its functional requirements and organization in terms of personnel and space and recommends a plan or framework for its physical development.
The Functional and Development Plan for the Health and Life Sciences Centre at Memorial University represented a further, positive step towards the realization of Newfoundland’s Medical School and University Hospital. Also, it defined the future expansion of the important programmes of the Life Sciences and the establishment of training facilities for the health-related professions.
The functional and development plan was developed to meet the specific needs of Newfoundland and Labrador’s medical system not only in relation to the health services of the Province but also to ensure that fiscal demands arising from the construction of the Centre could be met by the Government in a flexible way. The development concept recommended in this report was not a rigid plan but a system of building the facilities for this very exciting and forward-looking Centre.
The wide range of alternative phasing possibilities meant that the plan would need to be monitored, ensuring that the University’s needs were met, phase by phase, and the Centre’s full potential was realized without inhibiting the basic aim of integration of the disciplines. It was also intended the plan be extremely functional to produce an efficient and economic Centre, both in construction and in operation, and that the design concept proposed would enable the Provincial and Federal Government to embark upon the construction of this Centre with confidence.
The study was performed by Llewellyn-Davies Weeks Forestier-Walker & Bor of London, England and Ottawa, Ontario. The fonds consists of the following series:
1.0 Publications, April 1969