Contrary to the reports of some, Saskatoon City Hospital is open.

Over the years, even in the past few months, there have been calls to “reopen” the facility. But the fact is, it never closed. And it’s a busy place.

Dubbed the “Quality of Life” facility by the Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation because of the services based within its walls, the hospital is home to a number of special clinics, including the Breast Health Centre and the Women’s Health Centre.

Exterior of Saskatoon City Hospital

Saskatoon City Hospital is anything but “closed”.

Saskatoon City Hospital is where you’ll be treated for issues with your ears, nose or throat, or with your eyes, where your knees will get replaced if they’ve worn out, or where you’ll be cared for before you transfer to a long term care home.  It’s also where a wealth of research is done, and where you’ll be examined if you have a sleep disorder.

“We have very active surgical services units here,” noted Karen Newman, site leader for Saskatoon City Hospital, “focused mainly on orthopedics and gynecology, as well as ophthalmology.”

Newman knows exactly how busy the facility is.  Last year, nearly 70,000 outpatient procedures were performed at Saskatoon City Hospital, and nearly 18,000 day surgeries. Approximately 5,500 people stayed at the hospital as inpatients, and there were over 18,000 visits to the emergency department.

“We are a 24/7 facility, there’s no question about that,” Newman said. “The emergency department is not open overnight, but we do have an inpatient population here that needs care around the clock, so there are always staff members on duty.”

There are about 1,700 staff who work at Saskatoon City Hospital, plus physicians, and they do their work in the large number of clinics and units within the building.

Interior of atrium

The atrium on the main floor of City Hospital

The ground floor is where you’ll find the Breast Health Centre, and the Women’s Health Centre, including Midwifery. Central Therapies is also on that level, along with services like Medical Imaging, Endoscopy, Occupational Health Services, Physical Therapy, Mental Health and Addictions Services, as well as Clinical Neurophysiology Services, and, of course, the Emergency Department.

The third level is where many surgeries take place. It houses the Clinical Treatment Centre, the  Day Surgery unit for ophthalmology and gynecology, Orthopedics, the Surgical Inpatient unit, Cystoscopy, Oral Facial Maxilla surgery (which addresses problems ranging from the removal of impacted teeth to the repair of facial trauma), Post-anesthesia Care, and Surgical Services.

On the fourth floor is the large Day Surgery unit, the Pre-admission Clinic, Eye Care Centre, and Same-Day Surgery unit.   The fifth floor houses the Laboratory, and the Cameco MS Neuroscience Research Center.

The sixth floor is where the newly-opened Convalescent Unit is found, for those needing a bit more time to recover before they head home or to a home like environment, along with the Sleep Disorders Centre, the Transitional Care Unit for those soon needing long term care, more surgery services, the SAIL Respiratory Health Unit, and the Saskatoon Centre for Patient-Oriented Research.

Up on seventh is the Geriatric Evaluation and Management Program, the Rehabilitation Inpatient Unit, the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) clinic, and the Rehabilitation Outpatient Clinic. And on the eighth floor is where the Acquired Brain Injury outreach team is based, along with Infection Prevention and Control, the Spine Pathway program, the FIT for Active Living program, and Kinetik Rehabilitation Services.

The hospital is also home to the Region’s support services sector, from housekeeping to security, supply chain management to maintenance. The full-fledged food and nutrition department supplies a lot of the prepared meals to other hospitals in the Region, as it’s where the Central Production Kitchen is located.

There’s also a full cafeteria in the basement, along with a coffee shop on the main level. Both offer a number of options for the hungry and thirsty.  And there’s the Rependa Centre on the main level, which contains a large theatre as well as meeting rooms of all sizes, for symposiums and seminars.

Yes, there are some offices at Saskatoon City Hospital. The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) for the Region are in a space on the small second level, and there is an administration department for both the facility and the Region located on the main floor.

In addition to the 1,700 staff members, there are students, mostly in the health sciences disciplines like nursing and pharmacy, who work their practicums within the facility. And there are 145 volunteers who work at Saskatoon City Hospital.

“We have a huge volunteer services group here,” Newman said. “It’s just a really busy place.”

Exterior of City hospital

The busy parking areas outside City Hospital show just how busy the facility is.

“We actually had to expand our visitor parking a while ago, and it still doesn’t meet the needs of the services based out of this facility. We know that, and we’re always looking for options and working on solutions to parking,” Newman noted.

Below is a video produced in 2014 by the Saskatoon City Hospital Foundation depicting a typical day at Saskatoon City Hospital. The numbers stated in the video have only gone up since it was made.