Province spends extra $20M on Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan

Watch above: plans for a larger children’s hospital were unveiled in Saskatoon, with a larger price tag

SASKATOON – The provincial government announced Wednesday it will spend an additional $20 million on the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan.

The announcement came Wednesday from the main floor of Royal University Hospital, where windows overlook the area where the new hospital will be built.

In the past six years, 100,000 people have moved to Saskatchewan.

The province announced last week it would be changing the blueprint of the hospital to accommodate the growth.

Saskatchewan Health Minister Dustin Duncan says the changes are very necessary.

“This is Saskatchewan common sense. Measure twice, cut once,” said Duncan.

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The additional $20 million brings the total provincial investment to $235.5 million. The extra money will come from the province’s 2016/17 budget.

It will be used to finance 24 extra private patient beds and add 38,000 square feet to an already limited site.

“It really just moves the perimeter of the children’s hospital closer to RUH,” said project director Craig Ayers.

“It doesn’t impact the adjacent parking structures.”

When the early design of the hospital was created in 2011, American consulting company John Black and Associates was called in to trim back the scale of the hospital, making the budget leaner.

“The fact that today’s plans are off and need to be fixed is evidence that ‘lean’ isn’t working,” said Saskatchewan NDP Leader Cam Broten.

The ‘lean’ cost cutting measure is still being used in other areas of healthcare and the province puts no blame on the process saying this is solely an effect of a booming population.

Duncan admits the province’s error to accurately forecast the growth earlier.

“In terms of future projects, as far as the ministry of health is concerned, we’ll be taking a lot of lessons from this,” said Duncan.

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In total, the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan will have 176 private inpatient beds. The 24 new private patient rooms will be added in the maternal, neonatal, acute care and pediatric intensive care units.

Changes to the blueprint will set the project back five months with the completion date now set for 2017.

Changes from the initial design:

CHS Service Area2011 Plan2014 Updated PlanChange
Pediatric Intensive Care Unit781
Observation Unit6104
Acute Care Pediatrics40455
Maternal Patient Rooms56659
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit43485