The ball is rolling for a potential heliport to be built at Melfort Hospital, although it appears to be the first of many steps toward the end goal.
Melfort council approved the forwarding of the resolution and business case study to build a heliport at Melfort Hospital to the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health.
Council met with the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) to help develop a business case for the heliport.
Mayor Rick Lang called it an early step in the development process but said before it can proceed in any way, shape, or form, it has to be approved by the Ministry of Health.
“If we wanted to proceed any further we had to have a resolution supported by council that we will then forward to the Ministry of Health and that will be a part of his decision-making process,” Lang said. “Without the resolution (they) won’t even look at it.”
The heliport is projected to be approximately $600,000, however Lang said the cost would be completely covered by funds raised by the health advocacy committee, with no cost to the City of Melfort.
Lang said if everything works out perfectly the heliport project could see approval sometime in November. Afterwards the committee would move forward with a fundraising campaign and construction could begin in early Spring 2019.
Lang also emphasized that construction wouldn’t begin until all funding is available.
The city estimates an hour of travel would be saved for patients flying in and out of Melfort via helicopter if a heliport was built, as helicopter ambulances currently have to use the Melfort Airport.
If everything aligns correctly, Lang said the heliport could be ready by the next fiscal year.
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