Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Saskatchewan created two field hospitals to support potential increased COVID positive patient volumes as part of acute care system readiness planning. Located in Regina and Saskatoon, these hospitals would serve as an extension of the health system, with capacity to support approximately 300 to 650 patients combined, in addition to existing hospital capacity. These were intended to care for in-patients recovering from COVID-19, only to be utilized is absolutely necessary.
“We have reached the point in Saskatchewan’s immunization program and Re-Open plan that we can start to decommission field hospitals in the coming weeks, with the intent to return them to their owners for their intended use later this summer,“ said Scott Livingstone, Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) CEO. “The creation of these field hospitals were an essential component of our defensive strategy. And while we continue to monitor COVID hospitalizations and ensure surge plans are in place, we believe field hospitals no longer need to be part of those plans, and are very pleased that we never had to use them.”
A number of essential medical care items, including hospital beds, were purchased to equip both field hospitals. As decommissioning occurs, these items will be distributed around the province to the areas of greatest need to improve health care for all residents.
The SHA extends its appreciation to our partners, The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) and the Regina Exhibition Association Ltd. (REAL), for their support. As lease agreements reach their expiration date, the process will begin and is expected to take about four weeks. In Saskatoon, the decommissioning process at Merlis Belsher is expected to begin August 1. In Regina, the process will start in August to be completed by end of September.
Above: The Saskatoon Field Hospital at Merlis Belsher Place.
Below: The Regina Field Hospital at the Regina Exhibition Association Ltd’s International Trade Centre