Don Kindopp, Chair of the New Estevan Regional Nursing Home Committee along with Greg Hoffart, the Executive Director for the St Joseph's Hospital, and Mayor Roy Ludwig recently met with the Minister of Health, Jim Reiter, Greg Ottenbreit, Minister Responsible for Rural and Remote Health, and Estevan's MLA and Minister of Highways, Lori Carr to present to them the report on the new nursing home they want to build in Estevan.
"We presented to them a case to replace the current Estevan Regional Nursing Home on Wellock Road."
The committee had commissioned a report on different options for a new facility.
"The recommendation that we presented to the Minister of Health," explained Kindopp, "was that we proceed building a three-level 72-bed long-term care facility adjoined to St. Joe's so it can be adjoined to the current long-term care home as we would have in effect, a 100-bed long-term care facility there."
Using the current infrastructure would save on costs such as kitchen, loading docks, furnace, cooling could mean a savings of $10 million on the original cost of the build bringing the total to $30 million.
As well, other savings such as sharing staff, not having to move patients, could mean an additional saving of over $500,000 a year.
"The Ministers were very receptive by this idea that we could save through efficiencies and they've taken the report to their people and we're invited back in January to hear what possible proposals."
"We're hoping that in January they say that they like this idea, like the savings that are provided."
He also added that the current Nursing Home is in need of $12 million simply in maintenance for the facility and if let go for 10 years, it could reach $20 million.
"Even by spending the $12 million today or the $20 million later, still what you are left with is a building with the same function, you don't have any improvements. We're saying does it make sense to in 10 year's time to have spent $20 million on an old building with no functional improvement or does it makes sense to use that money now and through in our efficiencies and $25 million or more to build a replacement for the current Estevan Regional Nursing Home."
Kindopp knows that it might take a while yet, but he does feel that the government is taking an interest in their plans and is optimistic that a new facility will get built.