Construction of the new Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford is nearing completion.
Work began September of 2015 with the goal of completion by the summer of 2018. The hospital will replace the current facility which is over 100 years old. According to Derek Miller, executive transition lead for finance and operations with Saskatchewan Health Authority, design and construction is 85 per cent complete.
“There are over 500 workers on site every day working on the project,” Miller said. “Inside the hospital there are some units that are almost complete and just need some final finishing touches.”
A large-scale project like this doesn’t come without obstacles. Insulation had to be removed and reinstalled when it was learned the material shrank. Miller said the hiccup will not interfere with the completion deadline and still plans to open by June.
But, just because construction is complete, doesn't mean the hospital will accept patients right away.
“There has been a lot of work going into transition planning... to actually occupy the building. We are planning for a fall 2018 move in, where we will actually move patients into the facility. There is a lot of training preparations that need to happen before that,” he said.
Miller said since this facility will be “leading edge,” technologically and staff will have to be trained how to use equipment. Miller said the Saskatchewan Health Authority is still in the process of determining the amount of staff needed.
The Beginnings Campaign was created to raise $8 million to furnish and equip the hospital. Miller said he is confident the goal will be reached in time.
“Right now we are in what we call the quite phase of the campaign. We have a network of volunteers across the province that are conducting a peer to peer fundraising campaign which has proven to be really successful. We are anticipating to launch a public campaign in the spring to achieve our target,” he said.
On Twitter: @realgreghiggins
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