Construction is now complete on Prince Albert Parkland Health Region’s $1.9 million housing complex for health care students, local physicians and visiting health professionals.
“The opportunity to retain health care professionals in rural and regional centres is increased by exposing students to these settings early in their career during training,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said. “There is no doubt that having new, modern housing available close to Victoria Hospital will help attract health care providers to the Prince Albert area.”
The new Dr. Tom Smith-Windsor House, with 21 suites and apartments, replaces housing on the grounds of the former Pineview Terrace Lodge. Students and visiting health providers are now being housed in the new building.
“The health region is proud to support students who are here for a short stay,” Prince Albert Parkland Regional Health Authority board chairperson Brenda Abrametz said. “It gives them an opportunity to see our community and facilities and to see what is possible if they choose to pursue their careers in Prince Albert Parkland.”
The land and buildings at the former Pineview Terrace Lodge were sold by Prince Albert Parkland Health Region in February 2015, but the region has continued renting the old units until students finish moving into the new building. Funds from the sale were used to fund this construction project.
Students in medical school or other health professional programs (registered nursing, psychology, respiratory therapy and medical laboratory work) use the housing services while they pursue training in Prince Albert. The health region also provides housing for locum physicians (visiting physicians, often filling vacations or other leaves to ensure continuous on-call coverage) and physicians in the Saskatchewan International Physician Practice Assessment (SIPPA) program.
SIPPA is a made-in-Saskatchewan solution created under by the Government of Saskatchewan that ensures foreign-trained family physicians are assessed with sufficient rigour, so that Saskatchewan patients receive safe, high-quality care.
The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region provides services and programs to about 80,000 people in one city and 40 towns, villages and rural municipalities as well as 12 First Nations. It is a major referral centre for health care services for residents of northern Saskatchewan.