Families will benefit from 24 additional inpatient beds to be added to the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan following an additional $20 million investment by the Government of Saskatchewan.
Ours is a growing province with increased need for children's and maternal health services," said Health Minister Dustin Duncan. "Increasing the number of beds will ensure that we can meet the needs of infants, children and mothers, now and into the future. We need to get the size of the facility right to reflect our province's growing population."
The original project scope included the construction of a 152-bed children's hospital. The $20 million in additional funding will add 24 inpatient beds for a total of 176 private inpatient beds. This will increase the overall size of the hospital by 11 per cent or approximately 38,000 square feet, and bring total provincial investment in the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan to $235.5 million.
Since the hospital's early design in 2011, Saskatchewan has hit an all-time high of more than 1.1 million people living in the province, with the second highest growth rate among the 10 provinces in 2013, behind only Alberta.
"We are grateful for the provincial government's commitment and support in ensuring Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan is designed and built for the future," said Saskatoon Regional Health Authority Board Chair Jim Rhode. "We have worked to do our due diligence in ensuring the hospital is the right size before the shovels hit the ground and we started construction."
"As we were nearing completion of blueprints, we saw continued pressure in children's and maternal health services," said Chair of Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan Steering Committee and Vice-President Integrated Health Services, Saskatoon Health Region Jackie Mann. "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."
"The Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan understands that major projects such as building a children's hospital is complex," said Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan President and CEO Brynn Boback-Lane. "We are grateful that our donors have been very generous and patient and we are all mindful that with the recent increase in our province's population, it is prudent to ensure that this facility is able to meet new demands within pediatric and maternal care.
"The Foundation is steadfast in our support to fundraise for this hospital and confident in the project moving forward, to ensure that Saskatchewan has an efficient Children's Hospital for every child and family that will need it."
The facility requires new design work to accommodate the 24 new beds, and the hospital's schedule has shifted by approximately five months. Construction is expected to start in September 2014 with the hospital scheduled to open in 2017.