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Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan on track for 2019 completion

WATCH ABOVE: On Friday the health minister toured the Children's Hospital of Saskatchewan as the building continues to take shape. The state-of-the-art hospital that will care for families right here at home is about 33 per cent finished. Meaghan Craig reports.

Construction on a monumental facility for both the province and the city of Saskatoon – is now one-third complete. On Friday, the province’s health minister toured the Children’s Hospital of Saskatchewan as the building continues to take shape.

“It’s a long time coming but we’re really excited it’s this far along,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said.

READ MORE: AREVA Resource gives $500,000 to Saskatoon children’s hospital

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To date, over 354,00 man hours have been dedicated to the build, approximately 2,750 trucks have delivered concrete to the site. The state-of-the-art hospital that will care for Saskatchewan families so they don’t have to go too far from home is now 33 per cent complete.

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“For many, many years we have sent children out of province for care so looking forward to that changing,” Reiter said.

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According to numbers provided by the ministry, there were 941 out-of-province hospitalizations involving patients 17-years-old and younger for 2015-16.

In the majority of cases:

  • The children required health care services while traveling;
  • The family moved out-of-province but still had Sask. health coverage for three months; and
  • The family lives close to the border and sought services at nearby hospitals.

In very few cases, the patients needed a highly specialized services like a heart transplant or it was due to capacity issues.

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Still the number patients who receive out-of-province care should decline with the new children’s hospital, along with something else.

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“We’ve got some significant pressures on some of our tertiary center, I think it’s going to help alleviate that because obviously right now you’ve got children that are in those centres that are more aptly going to be in this one,” Reiter said.

READ MORE: Boil water order lifted at Saskatoon City Hospital

Some inpatient areas could potentially be repurposed at Royal University Hospital and health region officials say they’ve begun to narrow down the number of health providers they’ll need to deliver a new model of care.

“A mom would come in with her family in a private room, deliver her baby, stay in that room until she’s ready to be discharged and then go home,” Jackie Mann, vice-president of integrated health services for the Saskatoon Health Region, said.

“So when I think about the transformation in our care that’s going to  happen on that floor let alone some of the other areas it’s pretty darn exciting.”

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As for the construction of this new facility, safety remains a top priority since the build has come with it’s own set of challenges working along side an already existing hospital operating 24-7.

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“Some of the recent measures we put in place as the building does get higher, we pushed out some of the safety fencing to create a longer safety zone so we’re assured that no parking or pedestrians or public are going to be near the building.”

READ MORE: Saskatoon pharmacies’ flu shot program helps worldwide cause

Construction on the hospital remains on schedule, the entire shell of the building should be complete by spring for an opening date sometime in late 2019. Officials say the budget of $285.2 million also remains target.

DID YOU KNOW:

Over 20,600 m3 of concrete has been placed to date:

  • Equivalent volume to 8.5 Olympic sized swimming pools;
  • 109,180,000 pounds of concrete- equivalent weight of 7,300 elephants; and
  • It’s also equivalent to pouring 20.5 km of double lane highway.
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