May 25th, 2018

Hospital roof leak not a leak after all

By Gillian Slade on February 17, 2017.

What appeared to be a roof leak in the new wing of Medicine Hat Regional Hospital is in fact the result of condensation on metal rods.--NEWS PHOTO GILLIAN SLADE 

What may have looked like a roof leak this week in the new wing of Medicine Hat Regional Hospital is something much simpler to resolve, says Alberta Infrastructure.

The water dripping from the ceiling was in fact moisture/condensation from metal rods, Dallas Huybregts, spokesperson for Alberta Infrastructure, told the News.

“There are some metal rods supporting the duct work in there that are not insulated so when it was cold the rods froze and developed frost. Then when it warmed up the frost melted causing the dripping,” said Huybregts.

The contractor has been addressing the problem.

“These rods have now been insulated, as they were originally intended to be, and that will solve the condensation issue,” said Huybregts.

This issue was not picked up during construction.

“They are minor deficiencies that were missed by the contractor and they have now been corrected,” said Huybregts.

The helipad on the roof, to accommodate both single and twin-engine helicopters, still requires Transport Canada approval.

“We are working towards completion of the pad and receiving certification from Transport Canada,” said spokesperson Robert Storrier recently. “We are extending the safety netting around the pad and completing some minor finishing work before the final inspection. We are anticipating that the project will receive approval in the next couple of months.”

The City of Medicine Hat has issued occupancy permits for the new wing. AHS is now working with Alberta Infrastructure on any deficiencies, Linda Iwasiw, interim chief for AHS south zone, said at the Palliser Triangle Health Advisory Council meeting in January. Iwasiw said the clinical commissioning of the new wing can take two to three months to complete.

Departments moving into the new facility include the renal department with 19 different bays plus two isolation bays. On the left of the main entrance will be the outpatient family maternity clinic. The cancer clinic will be located on the second floor, day medicine for things like dressing changes and patients who need antibiotics administered by IV and also the laboratory.

The medical device reprocessing department, or what some would call the sterilization area, will be on the third floor including six rooms for minor procedures, cystoscopy and endoscopy, maternity delivery suites and 10 NICU suites. On the fourth floor there are 19 bays for pre- and post-operative care, plus six operating rooms.

Redevelopment and expansion of the emergency department within the existing building is about to begin. Construction offices and equipment can be seen near the entrance leading to the atrium. Renovations are expected to continue for about two years, according to Alberta Infrastructure.

There will be no additional acute care beds in the new wing. The redevelopment does however free up additional space in the existing hospital as various departments move to the new wing.

In June 2012 the Dr. Dan MacCharles Auxiliary Hospital was demolished to make way for the expansion. In October that year then premier Alison Redford unveiled details of the expansion, a construction budget of $220 million, with a construction completion date of winter 2016. The official opening date is yet to be announced.

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