Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe made a stop in Yorkton on Feb. 18, taking time to tour the Yorkton Regional Health Centre. The tour was part of an overall goal to explore infrastructure around Saskatchewan, and get a sense of the needs in the province, visiting with people working on the front line and touring the places where they work.
Moe said that they’re aware that the current hospital has been serving people for decades, and that this is the kind of infrastructure that will need replacement eventually.
“We have been a government that has invested heavily in not only healthcare infrastructure but schools across this province, both in renovations and new builds. As we near budget time, that is not going to change, we are a government that is going to do everything we can to build on the strengths that we have in Saskatchewan so we can continue to build stronger communities, stronger families and a stronger Saskatchewan.”
Moe said that in the tour, they’re going to be looking at the size, condition and age of the facility. Beyond that, they will need to do needs assessments and planning dollars as the first step to replacement, to determine if you need a renovation or a complete new build.
“Quite frankly, when you’re looking at infrastructure of this age, it quite often gets to be a new build, and a new build fairly quickly.”
While it’s far from an announcement, Moe said that they are having conversations with staff at the hospital and the community because they know the state that the hospital is currently in.
“It’s a conversation that is fair to have here in the community of Yorkton given the age of the facility and given the region that it’s servicing and the people that it services.”
He emphasizes that there is a process to replacing infrastructure, and many conversations to be had, but also notes that Yorkton MLA Greg Ottenbreit has been an advocate for a new facility for the region.
“It is time to have the very serious conversation about this facility and how we can continue to provide the services to people in this area that, quite frankly, they expect to be provided.”
Infrastructure goes beyond hospitals, and Moe said that they have also looked at the education infrastructure in the community, and has said that Minister Gordon Wyant has also toured facilities to see what education looks like in the region.
Moe said that another of their goals was to visit non-government organization. He noted that after the hospital they were going to the Food Bank.
“Really looking forward to engaging with those folks who really provide such a valuable service not only to Yorkton but the surrounding region as well.”