After five years and $30 million, Dawson City, Yukon, has a brand new hospital.
The project faced numerous problems, including the bankruptcy of a key contractor, and was the target of many critics.
Premier Darrell Pasloski spoke to more than 100 people who attended the hospital’s grand opening Saturday.
“I've never quite understood the critics who would reduce the goal to a balance sheet and an auditor's report,” Pasloski said. “That sort of negative thinking implies that this hospital is not necessary.”
The new hospital includes an emergency room, a medical clinic, a health centre and a pharmacy. There are six in-patient care rooms and seven treatment beds.
Residents at the opening were happy with what they saw.
“This is just right and we’ve been waiting a long time in Dawson,” said Betty Groner.
“It's going to make life easier for me now that they've got physical therapy room for disableds like me,” said Roy Johnson.
All the staff has been hired, including four doctors.
“The transformation in one week has been absolutely phenomenal,” says Vivian Painter, the facility administrator. “From a construction zone to a real hospital with a waiting room with a registration desk with a trauma area."
The cost of operating the hospital should be about $5 million a year.