By Marcia Love
The Southwest Integrated Healthcare Facility will now be opening in two phases – starting with the new hospital in June.
Both the long-term care side of the facility and the hospital were expected to be open in early June, but a few remaining details in the long-term care wings means they won’t be ready until later this summer, Cypress Health Region reports.
The health region and Graham Construction have identified “deficiencies” in some areas of the acute and universal care wings that will require attention before services can be offered. This includes work on electrical tie-ins, door installation, and card swipe, security and safety testing.
“When you do a building this size, there’s always things that get missed and have to be rectified,” explained Trent Regier, Cypress Health Region’s director of rural health. “So what we don’t want to do is move our long-term care residents and… then disrupt their lives again.”
To bring all health services under one roof, both acute and universal care will begin operating at the new facility on June 17. This includes emergency outpatient services, lab and X-ray, the primary health clinic, therapies, home care and all community health services. Ambulance services will also be based at the facility as of this date.
While the big move is under way on June 16, no acute care, lab and X-ray or emergency outpatient services will be available that day. EMS will be available by calling 9-1-1.
Acute inpatient admissions will open at the new health facility on June 18, and outpatient procedures will initiate on June 22.
“Originally we didn’t want to do it like that, but we just felt that we can’t wait much longer to open the hospital side for the community,” Regier stated.
Health services have been operating out of temporary locations throughout town for the past year since the old hospital was forced to close its doors due to severe leaks in the roof last May.
If all goes according to plan, the new hospital will be open almost 52 years to the day after the Maple Creek Union Hospital opened on June 10, 1963.
Lorraine Maines, Maple Creek’s new health services manager, said she is looking forward to the transition into the new facility.
“Our staff and physicians, the entire community and surrounding areas have waited for this time to arrive and it is almost time to call our new building home,” she stated in a press release. “We can’t wait to open our doors on June 17 for the public to begin receiving acute care services and universal care unit programming in our beautiful new facility.”
On the long-term care side, Regier said work is about 90 per cent complete. While one long-term care home, Prairie Meadows, had furnishings moved in earlier this month, the remaining two homes, Prairie Oasis and Paradise Pines, will not be furnished until remaining work is completed.
Residents are expected to be moved into their new homes – one home per day over three days – in mid-August.
“We’re just working on some things with our residents and our residents’ families just on what’s the best time for them,” Regier said.
The whole building will be “hospital clean” before move-in.
While a grand opening was expected to take place shortly after the move in June, it is now being postponed until a new date is chosen.
However, public tours are expected to begin on June 7. More information will be provided on registration for these tours closer to the date.