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Saskatchewan children's hospital plan resumes

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The Saskatchewan government is moving forward with the construction of a new Children's Hospital in Saskatoon, after the project was put on hold over concerns the facility may be too small to meet the needs of a growing population.

The Saskatchewan government is moving forward with the construction of a new Children's Hospital in Saskatoon, after the project was put on hold over concerns the facility may be too small to meet the needs of a growing population.

“As we were nearing completion of blueprints, we saw continued pressure in children’s and maternal health services,” said Jackie Mann, chair of Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan Steering Committee and vice-president of Integrated Health Services for the Saskatoon Health Region.

“We felt we had to validate our planned bed numbers before we started construction and ensure those numbers were still appropriate given what we were seeing today and the implications for the future.”

“This investment in additional beds recognizes our province’s tremendous growth and ensures we will meet the needs of Saskatchewan residents into the future,” she said.

Saskatchewan Health Minister Dustin Duncan announced on April 23 that an additional $20 million will be invested in the project, which will provide 24 more inpatient beds, for a total of 176 private inpatient beds.

The decision will increase the overall size of the hospital by 11 per cent or about 38,000 square feet, and bring total provincial investment in the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan to $235.5 million.

The original project scope included the construction of a 152-bed children’s hospital.

According to Duncan, the current design was based on population projections, prepared by his officials, from five years ago.

Saskatchewan’s population hit the 1.1 million mark for the first time ever in 2013, growing by more than 100,000 people in the previous six years. It is estimated that Saskatchewan will reach a population of 1.2 million people by 2020.

Saskatoon was estimated by the city to have a population of 253,000 as of March 1. The Saskatoon census metropolitan area, which includes surrounding rural communities, was estimated to have a population of 298,000 people.

As a result, the facility requires new design work to accommodate the 24 new beds, and the hospital’s construction schedule has been delayed by about five months.

Construction is expected to start in September 2014 with the hospital scheduled to open in 2017.

JOC NEWS SERVICE

by Journal Of Commerce

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