Stanton Territorial Hospital pictured in April 2018. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
The territorial government has confirmed the services to be provided inside the old Stanton Hospital once its new counterpart is opened.
Extended care beds, long-term care beds, a primary care clinic, and various outpatient services will be provided at the old Stanton under an agreement whereby the territorial government rents the building back from its new property manager.
Many of those services already exist inside the old hospital. Beginning in summer 2019 they will be moved out to temporary homes, the old hospital building will be renovated, and then those services will be moved back in.
Seventy-two much-needed long-term care beds will be created. The only other long-term care currently available in Yellowknife is provided by Avens, and the territory has pledged to create 258 long-term care beds by 2026.
Though Thursday’s news release stated the territorial government had “signed a lease agreement,” that lease was actually signed back in October 2017. Cabin Radio understands Thursday’s statement simply confirms the nature of the services the old hospital will house.
As part of the public-private partnership under which the new facility is being built, the territorial government hands management of the old hospital building (though not ownership) to property manager Stanton Ventura Inc.
Stanton Ventura could have then leased the old hospital to other tenants. In that instance, the territorial government would have received a share of the rent. However, in renting back the whole building itself, the territorial government simply pays a discounted price.
Eventually, a large number of Yellowknife-based healthcare services will be concentrated in the overall Stanton complex.
In addition, the Arctic Indigenous Wellness Foundation – winner of this year’s $1 million Arctic Inspiration Prize – plans to relocate its temporary wellness centre, currently behind Yellowknife’s fieldhouse, to the Stanton complex in the future.
Speaking to Cabin Radio, health minister Glen Abernethy forecast the process of emptying and renovating the old hospital, then moving services back in, could take until 2021.