Surgeries to resume at Royal University Hospital Thursday

Officials from the Saskatoon Health Region say they are ready to resume surgeries at the Royal University Hospital on Thursday, following two days of having to cancel procedures due to an electrical problem.

More than 30 surgeries need new appointments after electrical problems at RUH

Officials say they have made progress in restoring services at Royal University Hospital. (CBC)

Officials from the Saskatoon Health Region say they are ready to resume surgeries at the Royal University Hospital on Thursday, following two days of having to cancel procedures due to an electrical problem.

They added that people who had their surgeries cancelled will be contacted to set new dates. More than 30 people were affected.

Officials said that power has been restored to some key medical systems, a parkade elevator, and the hospital's ventilation and heating equipment.

Steam services have also been brought back online, which means that the hospital now has access to hot water, heat and sterilization for surgical instruments.

The region cancelled all non-emergency surgeries on Tuesday after encountering problems with the electrical system. The issues arose earlier that morning when electrical engineers were working on the system.

"Aging infrastructure is an issue for us," said Health Region Vice-President Nilesh Kavia. "Electrical is one of those higher priority issues within the infrastructure priorities that we have."

On Wednesday officials noted many medical systems at the hospital are still without back-up power in the event of another incident or power failure.

The region said contingency plans are being worked on to make sure that any systems without emergency backup power don't fail.

The problems at the RUH prompted the NDP Opposition to criticize the provincial government's handling of infrastructure needs.

"The government has chosen to prioritize its LEAN pet project, which is millions and millions of dollars ... over spending on the basics of health care," the NDP's Danielle Chartier said Wednesday, making reference to a health ministry initiative to promote change in healthcare delivery.

The province, however, noted that since 2007 some $1 billion has been spent on infrastructure for health. The ministry is also expected to release a complete inventory of building needs, across the province, in the next few weeks.

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