The province of Saskatchewan has officially begun construction on the new Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford.
“Today’s groundbreaking is a big step forward in our government’s commitment to improve mental health services in Saskatchewan,” Environment Minister and Battlefords MLA Herb Cox said. “We know how important this project is to the people of the Battlefords and area, and to the people of this province. The new facility will ensure people get the help they need, when they need it, and in the best possible environment.”
The plan for the psychiatric facility was drawn up based on the recommendations in the province’s Mental Health and Addictions plan. The new facility will have 284 beds, outstripping the old facility’s 156 beds, including a 96 room unit for male and female offenders living with mental health issues.
“Prairie North Health Region is proud to partner with the Ministries of Health, Corrections and Policing, and Central Services, and with SaskBuilds and Access Prairies Partnership to develop a new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford,” Prairie North Regional Health Authority Chairperson Bonnie O’Grady said. “Our patients and staff of Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford deserve this day that will, in about three years’ time, result in the modern, appropriate, state-of-the-art environment they so richly deserve.”
Over the 33 year life of the contract, the province says it will invest a total of $407 million in the hospital. This includes construction-related costs of $222 million, as well as the cost of required maintenance to keep the facility in “like-new” condition for 30 years. Ernst & Young, the project’s independent financial advisor, says the government will save $90 million as a result of the P3.
The province says construction on the hospital will be complete by 2018.