Timing of new health facility for Esterhazy in province's hands

February 26, 2020, 3:29 pm
by Rob Paul, LJI Reporter

St Anthony's Hospital in Esterhazy may soon be replaced by an integrated care facility. The community has raised more than $10 million for the project and the ball is now in the provincial government's court.

A new health care facility for Esterhazy is in the works, but exactly when it will come to fruition is in the hands of the provincial government.

After years of fundraising and more than $10 million raised, the St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation is hopeful the province will approve a new care facility for Esterhazy in the not-too-distant future.

Don Hood of the hospital foundation said they’re ready to take the next steps with the plan to get the health facility built.

“It’s a new hospital and care home facility. We started fundraising for it in 2009,” said Hood.

Hood said the amount needed from the community of Esterhazy was calculated from a study done in 2011.

“We think we need somewhere between $10 million and $11 million for our share,” said Hood

Esterhazy has already raised the amount they believe they need to have the hospital and care home built.

“We have $10,250,000 right now,” said Hood. “So we have our money and we’re ready to supply the money for our share. The 20 per cent.”

Hood said the town and surrounding area has done an admirable job coming together to raise the money.

“It came from towns, municipalities in the area, individuals,” said Hood. “We also run an Esterhazy and district charity golf tournament.”

Hood praised the work by the Esterhazy and District Charity Golf Classic and pointed to them as the main catalyst for fundraising.

“That is a significant fundraiser and that money is also going to this pool of money for the hospital and the care home,” said Hood.

With their projected 20 per cent raised, Hood said they’re waiting to hear from the government.

“We’re waiting on the government to come up with their 80 per cent. We’re saying ‘we’re ready.’ It’s an unknown on when they’ll be ready at this point,” said Hood.

With that in mind, the St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation understands it’s a long process, but they’ve done everything on their end.

“The government needs to figure out how they’re going to get money flowing into infrastructure in the province,” said Hood.

“We’re just part of that puzzle on how do you move ahead here.”

“We understand money is tight. We also understand there has to be someway of figuring out how these projects move forward,” said Hood.

Hood said that when they get the go ahead they’re ready to kickoff the building of the hospital and care home.

“When someone says go you’ve got to be able to build it in 18 months,” said Hood.

They plan on the new hospital being built on Ancona Street.

“We’re hoping it can go right in the existing land we have right by the old hospital,” said Hood. “You’d knock the old hospital down, build the new hospital, and hopefully build the care home right there.”

“The hospital and the care home are functionally obsolete so for the service they’re trying to provide today, they’re not suitable,” said Hood.

“The hospital was completed in 1966 and the care home in 1967.”

As for the size of the new hospital, Hood said they’re unsure on that until they hear from the government.

“We’ve got to agree with the government on the number of beds in the hospital. The care home is a 60 bed care home,” said Hood.

St. Anthony’s Hospital Foundation is eager to get the go ahead for their plan.

“It’s been a long process. Unfortunately right now it’s wait and see. We’re ready.”