The NDP is seeking answers and a release of the long-promised facility audit on the troubled Saskatchewan Hospital in North Battleford. In Question Period, NDP Leader Ryan Meili pointed to a host of issues that have left the facility half-empty, the water undrinkable, and residents “burning their butts” because of hot water in the toilets, according to a report released today.
“Saskatchewan people spent good money on this badly needed hospital, but unfortunately, most of that money went to out-of-province companies that clearly cut corners” said Meili. “The Sask. Party stuck us with a non-functional facility where you could steep tea in the toilets, but you can’t drink the water.”
The hospital opened last year, but continues to sit half empty because of a series of building issues, from the replacement of the walls and roof due to faulty materials, to lead and copper in the water rendering it undrinkable for more than a year, to ongoing problems with the plumbing. Of the 188 health beds the NDP learned in committee last week, only two thirds are full. On the corrections side, half the units are still shuttered, and there were only seven patients total.
“How did the Sask. Party let this happen?” asked NDP Health Critic Vicki Mowat. “People want answers, they want to know how soon the hospital can fully open, and they want assurances that future infrastructure builds won’t follow the same failed model. This is just one more reason why we need a Sask-First procurement policy to ensure that it’s our workers and our companies that build our roads, our schools and our hospitals.”