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Hospital staff are asking the public to avoid coming to the hospital on June 21, unless it’s an emergency. However, if it is necessary, there are a few things you should know. The official switchover will take place at six a.m., after which Angela De Smit, Health Service Administrator, says all patients should head to the new hospital at 8407 – 112 Avenue.

“If you’re coming even at two or three minutes after, you need to go to the new facility,” she explains. “And if it’s prior to that, we will still be providing those services and care here at the existing facility.”

The same goes for maternity patients: before 6 a.m. go to the existing hospital, and after 6 a.m. go to the new hospital through the Birthing Centre entrance. The first in-patient is scheduled to be moved at 8 a.m., and patients are expected to leave the existing hospital every 4 to 5 minutes. Police will be blocking off 98 Street from 100 to 101 Avenue for the ambulances and buses, and drivers are asked to avoid 98 Street and 112 Avenue during the day to ensure there is no traffic for critical patients.

“We’re asking the public if they are not able to travel on those roads on Thursday, June 21, that would be the optimal,” says De Smit.

That also goes for June 24, when patients are moving into the Peace Villa residential care facility. Moving approximately 30 to 35 patients and equipment is expected to take most of the day, and as De Smit says, “We estimate that we should be feeding patients breakfast in the old hospital, and they’ll be eating lunch in the new hospital.”

The route will be busy, as four extra ambulances and a critical transport team are being brought in to help with the move. There will also be about 50 per cent more staff on hand, as for a short while there will be two hospitals running at the same time.

In order to ensure everything runs smoothly, there will be no outpatient services available on Thursday, and laboratory and Medical Imaging will not be available unless in an emergency. Lab hours have been extended to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday to help process some of the hundreds of requests.

“Just allow us the opportunity to make sure that we have a safe move, and we’re able to get everything over in place that will be able to provide better services,” De Smit asks.

Lab hours will be longer in the new hospital, and will run from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. If you’re hoping to visit a patient on moving day, the hours will be limited to 2:00 – 8:00 p.m., and will be predetermined based on the patient’s condition. Regular visiting hours of 12:00 – 8:00 p.m. will resume on June 22.

Should there be any confusion, staff will be stationed at both entrances of the current hospital to provide directions.

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