June 16, 2021

Construction of New Hemodialysis Unit at Meadow Lake Hospital Set to Begin

Meadow Lake Hospital is expanding to accommodate the region's first hemodialysis unit and better serve the residents of northwestern Saskatchewan.

Prince Albert-based RNF Ventures Ltd. has been awarded a construction contract to build a new 3,101 square foot addition to the hospital's second floor.  This new space will house a six-station hemodialysis unit, capable of treating up to 12 patients with severe kidney disease.

"Currently, Meadow Lake and area residents are having to travel to access the nearest hemodialysis unit," Trade and Export Minister and Meadow Lake MLA Jeremy Harrison said on behalf of Rural and Remote Health Minister Everett Hindley.  "This much anticipated expansion of our local hospital will bring this life-sustaining treatment here to our community and better protect the lives and livelihoods of local patients with kidney disease."

Construction is anticipated to begin this summer, with the new hemodialysis unit expected to open in early 2022.

"Saskatchewan Health Authority is very pleased to have the opportunity to proceed with construction to provide enhanced renal dialysis service at the Northwest Health Facility," Saskatchewan Health Authority Vice President, Infrastructure, Information and Support Andrew Will said.  "We are very appreciative of the significant support provided by project partners including Ministry of Health, Meadow Lake Tribal Council and Indigenous Services Canada to allow this important project to proceed for the residents of the northwest area of the province."

The provincial government has allocated $2.4 million dollars toward the expansion of Meadow Lake Hospital.  The Meadow Lake Tribal Council and Indigenous Services Canada have also partnered to provide a combined $1.05 million toward this project.

"The Meadow Lake Tribal Council is pleased that the Hemodialysis Unit will be open and ready to support our members throughout northwestern Saskatchewan," Meadow Lake Tribal Council Tribal Chief Richard Ben said.  "We have soaring rates of diabetes and complications that will now be mitigated by services offered close to home.  This not only helps the individuals but greatly assists the families who are both active supports and caregivers.  Diabetes is a family and community issue that will now have services extended closer to home."

Hemodialysis is the most common treatment for advanced kidney failure.  Blood is withdrawn from the body by a machine and passed through an artificial kidney called a dialyzer.  Hemodialysis treatments normally take four to five hours and the majority of patients require three treatments a week.

Currently, the closest hemodialysis units to Meadow Lake are located in Lloydminster, North Battleford, Prince Albert and Saskatoon.  Once operational, Meadow Lake Hospital will become the northernmost hemodialysis unit in the province.