September 27, 2019

Prince Albert's Victoria Hospital Nursery To Expand

Work is underway to ensure that families of newborns in Prince Albert and area who need a higher level of care will be able to stay closer to home.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) will issue a Request for Proposals in early October to expand the neonatal special care nursery space at Prince Albert’s Victoria Hospital, increasing the number of bassinets to 11 and preparing to make it a Level 2 neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

“Our government recognizes there is a growing need for a higher level of care for newborns in Prince Albert and northern Saskatchewan,” Crown Investments Minister Joe Hargrave said on behalf of Health Minister Jim Reiter. “We are grateful to the Victoria Hospital Foundation and community residents who have generously supported this project, allowing better access to specialized care as close to home as possible.”

Expanded neonatal services will allow Victoria Hospital to treat more sick newborns, rather than sending them to other centres in Saskatchewan or outside the province.

“The Saskatchewan Health Authority appreciates the support from the donors, as well as the hard work of the Victoria Hospital Foundation to raise money for the Neonatal Special Care Unit at the Victoria Hospital,” Saskatchewan Health Authority Integrated Northern Health Physician Executive Dr. Erin Hamilton said. “This upgrade is important for the community, and when complete will improve the level of care offered to babies and families in Prince Albert and northern Saskatchewan. Provincially the upgrade in Prince Albert is important to the Network of Neonatal Units and will improve our ability to keep Maternal and Newborn Care where appropriate within Saskatchewan by reducing the need to transfer out of province due to capacity issues.”

Design and construction costs will be funded by the Victoria Hospital Foundation.

“Our foundation is deeply grateful to our wonderful community, all our donors and to Drs. Lalita and the late Tilak Malhotra for their passion and generosity to our Level 2 NICU expansion campaign,” Victoria Hospital Foundation CEO Sherry Buckler said. “Their collective commitment to local health care has enabled our foundation to invest in the best possible care for our most fragile newborns born here at home.”

In the meantime, work will continue on a plan to either renovate or replace Victoria Hospital. The neonatal special care nursery project will take that process into account; the nursery space will be designed to be flexible and adaptable for future changes at Victoria Hospital.