Funding for the new Moose Jaw hospital and further exploration into Valley View Centre alternatives are two key items for Moose Javians in what was promised to be a “tight” provincial budget.
The Saskatchewan Party government has earmarked $50 million for the new regional hospital facility in this year’s budget, representing a 62.5 per cent share of the $80 million it has committed to the project.
“Government has committed to the price tag. I think (the hospital) is going to be about $100 million in total and that’s going to be an 80-20 split,” finance minister Ken Krawetz told the Times-Herald Wednesday. “We’ve provided, in this budget, $50 million. There will be a further allotment with regards to the next budget.”
“I think the hospital is obviously a promise that has been made and is going to be kept,” said Moose Jaw North MLA Warren Michelson. “In this budget, there’s $50 million earmarked for it and I’m quite pleased with that.”
The $50 million put forward this year will cover the costs incurred by the Five Hills Health Region as it moves forward with the new hospital, said Krawetz.
When asked about the concerns presented by Moose Javians with regard to the exclusion of the hyperbaric chamber in the new hospital and whether this funding signals a green light to go ahead with plans as-is, Krawetz said the ultimate decision lies with the Ministry of Health Services.
“Whether something is included or excluded, those are the kinds of things left to the appropriate ministry,” said Krawetz.
“When the minister comes forward to the Treasury Board, he’s talking about a price tag ... as far as the particulars of what is in the hospital in Moose Jaw or what is not in the hospital, that’s between the Regional Health Authority and the Ministry (of Health Services).”
The government has also allocated $5 million to “Valley View Centre replacement initiatives,” the lion’s share of which will be continued exploration and consultation, Krawetz said.