Yellowknife’s Stanton Hospital has postponed construction of a new chemotherapy and IV treatment unit.
The hospital has decided that, with a major project to rebuild Stanton so close, building a new chemo suite now would be a waste of funds.
Any new suite would only be operational for a few years before being superseded by the broader Stanton renovation, the hospital concluded.
Plans for the full Stanton renovation include a full, dedicated chemotherapy and IV unit.
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“If all goes well, the [new-look] hospital could get under construction sooner rather than later,” said Rebecca Alty, executive director of the hospital foundation.
“We said, ‘Stop, let’s take a look, does it still make sense to fundraise for this project?’ So the hospital had a consultant look and they realized two things.
“One, the costs had gone up quite a bit, and two, if we were to renovate right away, it would only benefit the operations for four to six years, or whenever the new space is ready.”
At the moment, patients requiring chemotherapy or IV treatments share space with endoscopy services and cardiac stress tests at Stanton’s medical day care unit.
Alty says that unit can feel cramped – “like everything in the hospital, it’s bursting at the seams” – which was partly why plans for a new chemo suite were drawn up in 2011, when the full renovation of Stanton seemed a distant prospect.
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More than $200,000 has since been raised for a chemo suite but, with construction of the revamped Stanton set to begin as soon as this winter, the chemo suite project has been set aside and the funds will be used elsewhere.
“We decided it wouldn’t be an efficient use of donor dollars,” said Alty.
She believes postponing the project, and waiting for the suite inside the new-look Stanton to open in the future, will be of minimal inconvenience to patients.
In consultation with donors, funds have been redirected to projects like iPads for each of the current chemo and IV treatment chairs, breast screening database software, and an infant resuscitator and exam lights for the obstetrics unit.