08/30/2011 06:15 EDT | Updated 10/30/2011 05:12 EDT

Health minister says patients first at new hospital in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

MOOSE JAW, Sask. - Saskatchewan's health minister is promising better and safer health services at a new regional hospital in Moose Jaw.

Don McMorrris announced the new hospital and new attitude on Tuesday.

He says the patient-first hospital is the result of the Saskatchewan Party government's promise to invest in infrastructure and improved access to quality health services.

Donald Shanner, acting chair of the Five Hills Regional Health Authority, says with a new building they can apply patient-centred principles of continuous improvement to the design of a hospital from the ground up.

Recent changes to health facility funding means the provincial government now funds 80 per cent of planning and construction costs, with local communities paying the rest, including the cost of furniture and any new equipment.

Previously, the split was 65 per cent of the cost picked up by the province, with the community paying the remaining 35 per cent.