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FAQs: Expansion to Whitehorse General Hospital

Why expand the hospital?
The expansion of Whitehorse General Hospital will ensure we can provide safe and excellent care now and into the future. This project represents the first large-scale improvements to the hospital in 20 years. During that time, health care standards in design, patient safety, and infection control have evolved. The project will mean our emergency department is optimally designed to support quality care, while increasing the number of patient treatment areas.

What does the expansion project include?
The key features of the 40,000-sq ft. expansion will be:

  • patient care space that meets current standards for Canadian healthcare facilities in patient safety and comfort, infection control, and security
  • a new emergency department with more suitable and modern treatment spaces
  • a second floor that can be completed in the future for more inpatient beds
  • a data centre for hospital information systems
  • improvements to the building’s power infrastructure to support expansion
  • an enhanced working environment for hospital staff and physicians

Did the hospital conduct a 'needs assessment' for the expansion project?
The Yukon Hospital Corporation completed a detailed planning process that included a needs assessment and project costing. This process looked at a range of population and service delivery needs. The findings highlighted the fact that the existing emergency department is not optimally designed for safe patient flow, infection control and security. The primary focus of the expansion project is to address these needs so we can continue to provide safe and excellent care for years to come.

What are the objectives of WGH expansion?

First and foremost, the primary goal of expansion is to support our ability to deliver safe and excellent hospital care. There are a number of key project objectives to ensure we achieve this result:

  • improve emergency care through improved patient flow and safety
  • build sustainable building and services
  • improve the healing environment
  • improve diagnostic imaging services

What is the timeline and when will construction be complete?
We completed a multi-staged competitive bid process to select a team to design and build the expansion.We awarded a contract in June 2015. This will be followed by an estimated 30 months of construction that started summer 2015. We expect construction to be completed by fall 2017 and the new emergency department to be opened to the public in early 2018.

How much will the project cost?
The full expansion project including the MRI facility will cost nearly $72 million, which is being funded by the Government of Yukon with $2 million raised by the Yukon Hospital Foundation for the purchase of the MRI scanner.


FAQs: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Program

What is MRI?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is a process that uses a magnet and pulses of radio waves to make images of organs and structures inside the body. The technique is widely used in hospitals for medical diagnosis, staging of disease, and for follow-up.

Why use MRI?
MRI is different from other imaging tests. Your medical provider will ask for a CT scan, x-ray, ultrasound or MRI depending on what they need to see. MRI is often used for neurological, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and oncological investigations, but the test may also be done to provide additional information about an issue seen in a CT scan, x-ray or ultrasound.

Who can get an MRI scan?
Your doctor or other health care provider will decide if an MRI is safe and appropriate. Some patients may not be able to have an MRI because of their health condition, and MRI is not always the best method of providing an image.

Why do we have MRI in Yukon?
Thanks to the generosity of businesses and individual Yukoners, the Yukon Hospital Foundation was able to raise $2 million toward the purchase of an MRI machine. The Yukon government matched those funds to buy the equipment and then contributed an additional $2.8 million to build the new facility.

Until now, patients have had to travel for about 600 MRI scans each year, with travel assistance and scan costs paid by the Government of Yukon. The MRI scanner at Whitehorse General Hospital means reducing travel costs, travel time, and results time.

What impact will this have on my care?
There are many benefits for Yukoners in having this important diagnostic test and being able to access it closer to home. An MRI is an advanced diagnostic tool that will allow your health provider to get an appropriate image, get it faster, and without patients having to leave Yukon.

Do I still have to travel to receive an MRI scan?
The MRI program at Whitehorse General Hospital will provide about 1,800 exams per year.  About 5-10% of people who require an MRI will still have to travel outside the Yukon for specialized procedures such as pediatric patients who require sedation or interventional MRI scans.

Last Updated:Tue, 03/30/2021 - 18:19