Larger ER and 40 per cent bed increase planned for Victoria Hospital

A concept of the planned expansion of the Victoria Hospital. Submitted image.

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Construction of a new acute care tower, replacing the adult mental health space, and renovations to the existing building are all on the to-do list for Prince Albert’s Victoria Hospital expansion.

The province announced on Dec. 17 that interested parties were allowed to submit their qualifications for construction. The province will narrow the list of submissions down to a maximum of three parties, who will then be invited to submit proposals.

“We’re pleased to see this significant project moving forward,” Health Minister Paul Merriman said. “Being close to home when you’re most vulnerable is important to a swift and complete recovery. Increased hospital capacity and expanded services at Prince Albert Victoria Hospital will benefit residents for years to come.”

Along with the construction of 32,000 square metres of new space, the successful company will have the job of renovating 7,000 square metres of the existing building

This will make a bigger emergency department, more medical imaging services and a 40 per cent increase in beds from 173 to 242.

It is expected that the new tower will be built first, with the renovation and redevelopment of the existing space to follow.

There will also be shelled space to allow for future expansion of up to 282 beds.

The deadline for interested parties to submit their qualifications is Feb. 17, 2022. Requests for proposals will be released in the spring or summer of 2022.

While the province will pay all of the cost of building the facility, the local community and Victoria Hospital Foundation will raise the money needed for furniture and equipment.

The new building will be constructed in a way that shows a shared commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, said the news release announcing the procurement process on Dec. 17.

“On behalf of the Executive and our 12 Chiefs’ of our member First Nations, I am pleased that our vision of a new hospital is closer to becoming a reality,” Prince Albert Grand Council Grand Chief Brian Hardlotte said. “As one of the partners, I’m looking forward to our continued collaboration with the Government of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Health Authority to ensure a welcoming, inclusive health care facility that we can all take ownership of.

The project represents a partnership between the provincial government, Sask. Health Authority and the PAGC to make sure that culturally appropriate services and spaces are included.

“This project milestone has been long anticipated for the community and the SHA,” Saskatchewan Health Authority Acting Vice President of Infrastructure, Information and Support Derek Miller said. “Once completed, the hospital will be better able to serve those in Prince Albert and northern Saskatchewan with expanded acute care and mental health and addictions services closer to home.”