Whitehorse General Hospital is expanding

Mike Nixon, MLA for Porter Creek South As submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, July 10th, 2015
by Mike Nixon, Minister of Health & Social Services

Thanks to the efforts of the community, the hospital and the government, the Whitehorse General Hospital (WGH) is undergoing an expansion that will enable more advanced health care here in the territory. The goal is to make further improvements in providing services and care for Yukoners.

The Yukon government is committed to investing in and delivering quality health facilities and programming. The expansion represents the latest delivery on our commitment to health care innovations and technologies that will support the very best acute care for all Yukoners.

In January, together with the hospital, we opened the suite that houses the first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) facility north of 60. As the first phase of the expansion project, the construction of the MRI facility was brought in under budget and ahead of time, with operations currently running smoothly. This bodes well for the overall project, the first large-scale enhancement to WGH in 20 years. Including the MRI facility, the job entails $72 million worth of work over three years.

Over the last 20 years, health care standards in design, patient safety and infection control have changed significantly. This project will bring WGH up to date as well as provide more space, including a 40,000 square foot, two-storey expansion wing on the east side of the existing hospital building.

Changes to the existing facility include the relocation of key diagnostic imaging equipment, such as the CT scanner and X-ray, bringing them closer to the new emergency department, and the relocation of the ambulance station from its current site by WGH to a new building nearby on Hospital Road. Construction of this building has already begun.

The new emergency department will include an increased number of treatment spaces and a data centre for hospital info systems. The second floor can be adapted in the future to provide more inpatient beds.

The original Whitehorse General Hospital was built on its current site in 1959, and the facility we use today was constructed in 1994. I am pleased that the efforts of the community, the hospital and the government are making this much-needed expansion come to fruition. Yukoners will benefit greatly from this project.

I would like to thank Yukon’s healthcare workers for their support and patience as we work to enable them to continue to provide the best care possible. I would also like to thank the public for their understanding during construction. I look forward to providing more updates on the progress of this important project as it continues.

Mike Nixon

Minister of Health and Social Services