The new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford (SHNB) officially opened Friday, giving patients and offenders with mental health issues access to enhanced facilities and programming.
The $407-million, 284-bed hospital is the single largest investment made by the Saskatchewan government in mental health services.
“Our government is committed to providing better, more efficient mental health services for Saskatchewan residents,” said Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.
“The Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford will ensure patients in Saskatchewan receive the care they need, when they need it.”
The SHNB replaces the previous century-old hospital in North Battleford, with 32 more psychiatric rehabilitation beds.
WATCH BELOW: How the Saskatchewan Hospital differs from the Regional Psychiatric Centre
Health Minister Jim Reiter said the new facility is one of the most advanced centres of its kind in Canada.
“Its patient-focused design includes private rooms that are more spacious, natural lighting throughout the facility, and other features that make it an overall more therapeutic environment for patients in their journey through healing,” Reiter said in a statement.
All previous patients at the old SHNB have been moved to the new facility, including offenders with mental health issues.
Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said this will allow them to receive more enhanced programming.
“(It) will allow us to better address the needs of offenders in a therapeutic environment, and will allow for improved assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation for offenders living with mental health challenges,” Tell said.
The hospital also houses people found not criminally responsible and others who aren’t serving time.