The Montreal General Hospital is getting a new wing that will include an emergency room and new operating rooms in a $300-million project.

Health Minister Gaetan Barrette said Thursday that the province is giving the hospital the go-ahead because it

is long overdue for the city's Anglophone community.

“There is a lack of space, so today if you build an operating theatre at today’s standards, it will mean bigger rooms, better equipment – not that the equipment is not at level in this hospital – but better equipment in terms of arrangement in the room,” he said.

The new wing will be built in the space between the General's existing wings and will house the new ER, new operating rooms and a new sterilization unit.

The MGH was founded as the city's first English-language hospital in the 1820s and moved to its current location on Cedar Ave. in the 1950s.

Sixty years ago, the Montreal General Hospital was state of the art for that era and eventually grew into a teaching hospital for the McGill University Faculty of Medicine.

The hospital has more than 400 beds on 19 floors in several sprawling wings, but is now considered one of the few older facilities that comprise the MUHC, thanks to its modern Glen campus in NDG.

The Montreal General’s cramped ER is one of the province's three trauma centres and receives 10,000 trauma victims a year, 1,500 of whom need intensive care in surgery and rehab.

Barrette said the plan is locked in and is not simply an election promise.

The new wing is expected to open in four years.