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).
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.
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.