Saskatoon Health Region attracts 10 new pediatricians

The Saskatoon Health Region's recruitment efforts appear to be working, with 10 new pediatricians coming to the city in the past six months.

Full compliment of pediatricians expected by 2019 opening of Jim Pattison Children's Hospital

Saskatoon Health Region head of pediatrics Dr. Laurentiu Givelichian said several new pediatricians have been recruited in recent months, including a third pediatric surgeon. (Jason Warick)

The Saskatoon Health Region's recruitment efforts appear to be working, with 10 new pediatricians coming to the city in the past six months.

That includes a new pediatric surgeon, bringing the region to its full compliment of three.

Dr. Laurentiu Givelichian, head of pediatrics for the health region, said it plans to eventually offer every major form of pediatric care, with the exception of heart surgery and organ transplants.

"But everything else will be offered. Therefore, the families will never have to travel again outside the province," Givelichian told reporters before a tour of the under-construction Jim Pattison Children's Hospital.

The $285-million facility, located adjacent to Royal University Hospital, is 70 per cent complete, said officials.

The Saskatoon Health Region is still 10 pediatricians short of its goal of 70. But Givelichian is confident the region will be fully staffed when the children's hospital opens in 2019.

The hospital will be staffed with neonatal specialists, along with providers for critical care, developmental care, endocrinology, gastroenterology, hematology, infectious disease treatment, cardiology, nephrology, neurology, respirology, rheumatology, medical genetics, pediatric urology, surgery and emergency care, officials said earlier this year.

Wall lauds recruitment efforts 

Premier Brad Wall also toured the construction site Friday. He applauded Givelichian and the region for the recruitment success.

The last provincial budget set aside $1.6 million for the region's recruitment.

"I think we're on track," Wall said. "We have to ensure that beyond building a wonderful children's hospital, it needs to be fully staffed."

Premier Brad Wall says he's excited to see the progress being made on the Jim Pattison Children's Hospital, which is 70 per cent complete. (Don Somers/CBC)

Wall said he's grateful to see the significant progress being made every month on the building.

Hospital construction on time, on budget

The premier noted the project is on time and on budget.

"And that's a phrase we appreciate using in the public sector because we're mindful that it's the people's facility in the first place that's being built here. It's also their resources that are building it," Wall said.

The building was named after Pattison following the Saskatchewan-born billionaire's $50-million donation earlier this year.


Jason Warick


Jason Warick is a reporter with CBC Saskatoon.