The Thomson Centre has finally re-opened.
The building, which adjoins Whitehorse General Hospital, was built in 1993 as a continuing care facility under Tony Penikett’s NDP government. But it has been plagued with water leaks, mould infestations and other problems.
So, for the past nine years, its rooms, built to provide care to the elderly, have sat empty.
That will change over the next several weeks, as 19 renovated rooms will become occupied by patients requiring intermediate care – cooked meals, and help with bathing and getting around – similar to what’s on offer at Macaulay Lodge.
Another 10 rooms have been redone to offer extended care, like what’s provided to residents at Copper Ridge. But there’s no sign yet of when these rooms will become occupied.
Health and Social Services will need to hire more nurses first, and outfit the rooms with the necessary equipment, said Liris Smith, director of care and community.
One section of the Thomson Centre will continue to be used by the Yukon Hospital Corporation as space for physio and occupational therapists, cancer and diabetes education programs and office space. Originally, the building was supposed to be occupied by 44 patients, rather than 29.
The renovations include one room that’s set aside for an extremely overweight patient. It comes with an oversized bed and lift system. Copper Ridge has a similar room.
The Yukon Party originally promised to have the Thomson Centre open by February of 2007. But it faced a succession of setbacks with meeting building code, so the government instead focussed on filling Copper Ridge’s 96 beds.
This year’s budget included $3.3 million to complete work to the Thomson Centre.
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