In the wake of the new Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford needing a new roof only months after opening, the NDP is calling for a full facility audit.
“Saskatchewan taxpayers are on the hook for this $400 million P3 and will be on the hook for paying millions of dollars more to SNC Lavalin in yearly maintenance bills. How is it that the roof of this brand-new building already needs to be replaced, and what other infrastructure issues may exist?” asked NDP SaskBuilds Critic Cathy Sproule.
Government records show that Saskatchewan people will pay $9.2 million in interest and an average of $4.2 million per year for operations, maintenance and rehabilitation of the P3 hospital (see Schedule 9 of public accounts for these figures). In 2017, the former Prairie North Health Region spent only $4.8 million on repairs and maintenance for all 33 of its health facilities.
“It is clear that the public is absolutely paying for the risks taken on by the proponent,” Sproule said. “For the government to say ‘we don’t care’ when problems like what we’ve seen crop up shows just how out-of-touch they are.”
Sproule has written a letter to the Minister of SaskBuilds calling on the government to conduct a full facility audit of the Saskatchewan Hospital to determine if any other failures have occurred and identify areas of risk.
“For the sake of the public as well as the patients and staff, we need more transparency on this issue,” Sproule said. “So far, at every delay this P3 has gone through, the government has done nothing but shrug its shoulders instead of providing answers. That needs to change.”