November 28, 2016 3:48 pm
Updated: November 28, 2016 4:19 pm

Manitoba’s first hospital helipad officially opens

WATCH: In 2015, Manitoba government announced new helipad for air ambulances on the Health Sciences Centre.


WINNIPEG — It’s a game changer in how fast emergency patients receive the care they need, and it’s officially made its way to Manitoba.

More than five years after it was first announced, the province’s first helipad became a reality Monday.

The heliport now sits on the roof of the new Diagnostic Centre of Excellence (DCE) at Winnipeg’s Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre (HSC).

READ MORE: HSC helipad within ‘weeks’ of opening

The hospital is Manitoba’s main resource for many adult and paediatric emergencies such as trauma, stroke, burns and neurosurgical care, said Dr. Perry Gray, the chief operating officer at HSC.

“The ability to land right at HSC, with direct access to our specialists, will improve survival and quality of life for patients,” Gray said.

The helipad is being seen as game changing for patients, but it is not unique to Canada.

Ontario has 86 helipads, Saskatchewan has three, Alberta has 66 and there are 32 in British Columbia.

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There are other facilities in Manitoba that are certainly interested in having a helipad set up on or around them as well, Minister of Health, Kelvin Goertzen said

Helen Clark with the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority said St. Boniface is a location that has been put on the table for discussion.

RELATED: Winnipeg’s first hospital helipad slated for this spring

“I think like any other potential locations, we need to do an analysis for the benefits, cost benefits analysis, so we are doing that,” Clark said.

While the new helipad will be open for use on top of HSC, that doesn’t change the procedure for cardiac patients that traditionally have been transported to St. Boniface for the most part, and not HSC.

“They’ll continue to go directly to St.Boniface. There is a landing zone or heliport if you life, city of Winnipeg owned heliport on Tyne Avenue, which is where STARS currently lands for patients that need to go to St. Boniface,” Clark said.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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