Future growth sparks need for health care services master plan
February 14, 2011
WHITEHORSE—A new joint venture that could see significant changes to the way the Whitehorse General Hospital (WGH) campus looks and functions was announced by Yukon Health and Social Services Minister Glenn Hart and Yukon Hospital Corporation Board chair Craig Tuton today.
A joint steering committee will be established to oversee the development of a strategic campus facilities plan and a master plan envisaging new and necessary construction on land around the hospital, including such critical needs as an expansion to the Emergency Department and space for a new MRI room.
“The pressures on both our health care system and our acute care system continue to increase, and we need to take a realistic look at what our needs are today and what they will be into the future, to 2025,” Hart said. “Starting to plan now is the prudent step to take.”
The steering committee will hire a consultant to meet with stakeholders and assess the current and future needs.
“This undertaking will allow us to work together to plan for the future needs of Yukon residents,” Tuton said. “We need to clearly identify what the current pressures are, and what we will be facing in the next 15 to 20 years. Now is the time to start the work that will enable us to make good planning and programming decisions.”
Both Hart and Tuton acknowledged there are many needs to be met. A population that is growing and aging, deteriorating infrastructure, the demand for technological innovations, changing health care needs and practices, and increasing patient expectations are only some of the challenges facing both the health care and acute care systems.
Members of the steering committee include Yukon government; Yukon Hospital Corporation; physicians; Council for Yukon First Nations; and the community at large. The committee is expected to start meeting in March and complete its work by October at an estimated a cost of $200,000.
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