MLA for Portage la Prairie, Jeff Bereza, took the opportunity to tour the site of the new Portage District General Hospital recently, guided by Kyle MacNair, Implementation Lead – Clinical Planning, Southern Health-Santé Sud, and Scott Simpson, Site Superintendent, PCL Construction.
Bereza describes the facility to PortageOnline as state-of-the-art.
“The first thing I noticed upon entering the site was the sheer size of it: this 260,000 sq. ft. facility more than doubles the footprint of the current hospital,” says Bereza.
The new facility reportedly has 114 acute care patient beds, including medicine, surgical, rehabilitation, palliative care, maternity, and special care.
Other benefits of the new facility include:
- increased day surgery capacity to allow more procedures locally and lessen the need to travel to Winnipeg, Brandon, or elsewhere;
- an expanded emergency department designed to best practice standards, including treatment and assessment rooms, a trauma room, a stretcher bay, and an ambulance bay; and
- enhanced spaces for programs such as diagnostics, dialysis, palliative care, and outpatient services, including lab and rehabilitation.
Southern Health-Santé Sud notes that the individual rooms, each with their own shower and toilet, will provide a safer and more dignified environment for both patients and staff. If a family wants to take a loved one for some fresh air, they need not look any further than the outside lounge area overlooking beautiful Crescent Lake. A new Indigenous health services cultural space will also provide a place for inclusion and education.
“To be a patient in a hospital means needing professional medical help—a situation no one wishes to be in,” continues Bereza. “I’m pleased to know that this facility is being built with the comfort of patients, and the people who care for them, as a priority. As the whole country struggles with healthcare staffing, the fact that this facility is designed with the wellbeing of staff also in mind will help to attract more healthcare professionals to Portage.”
Southern Health-Santé Sud says there are also improvements on the back end, which may not be as visible to the general public but still enhance patient care. This includes:
- modern and efficiently-designed mechanical and electrical systems;
- adoption of digital patient record systems; and
- direct access from the helipad into the emergency department.
Ranked among the top 100 infrastructure projects in all of Canada, the facility will be a model of efficiency designed to accommodate additional services and expansion as required. Bereza and the Progressive Conservatives are confident it will also attract more people to the region.
“Two of the top amenities people look for when considering whether to move to a community are healthcare and recreation facilities. Portage la Prairie will soon check both of those boxes,” adds Bereza. “A new hospital in our region was long thought to be nothing but a pipe dream. But our previous PC government committed to increasing healthcare facilities not only in Winnipeg, but across Manitoba.”
The Portage MLA thanked all those involved in bringing the much-needed healthcare facility to the region.
“It will not only provide vastly improved patient care but also be an efficient, welcoming place to work for our healthcare staff who deserve nothing less,” notes Bereza.
The new facility will be substantially completed by November 2025 and is expected to open to its first patients several months later.