WATSON — The provincial government allotted funding through the 2021-22 budget for planning on the new wing at the Quill Plains Centennial Lodge and renovation of the east wing.
The facility, which serves over 20 municipalities, includes long term care, palliative care, physician services, public health services, respite care, therapies, diagnostic imaging, a dietitian, and integrated wellness co-ordinators.
Norma Weber, Watson’s mayor and chair of the Quill Plains Health Care Foundation Inc. estimates that the additions are about two years away from any build.
“We are very excited about this; we have been working quite a while on it,” Weber said. “We have worked on raising funds [and] we have commitments from several municipalities. People from around here in the district also realize the needs.”
The goal of the foundation is to raise $2.2 million by 2022, a goal Weber said they’re “well on their way” to, with about $500,000 separately raised since 2018.
“I hope that people jump on board now, I hope they’re excited as we are on the Quill Plains Healthcare Foundation,” she said.
“Sometimes there’s a struggle to get things moving forward and getting them in rural, because things seem to happen quicker in larger populations like the city and such. We are very excited out here.”
Weber said that new additions would ideally create a fresh look to the facility with bigger tub room, improvements to the laundry room as well as improved air exchange.
“When people are living in the facility 24/7 it’s important to have good air. We do not have air exchange on most of our facility on the health centre side,” Weber said.
“For sure we won’t have any less beds, more would be good, but how much the health department can handle because it does involve labour.”
She said the next step will be approaching corporations for funding.
“All of those things add up to needing a new renovation to make life more pleasurable there and bearable for everybody. So we’re happy when the government came along and looked at our facility and had faith in rural Saskatchewan to come out here and give us funding for that.”
The funding was announced as part of a provincial investment of $162 million into health care capital during the 2021-22, including $1.1 million to begin planning activities for long-term care facilities in Estevan, Watson and Regina.