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Hospital transition plan moving slowly

Work already happening behind the scenes at Red Deer hospital, says Alberta Health
Alberta Health says it will continue to work with hospital staff on maintaining services during construction at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre. (File photo)

Progress on a transition plan for patient care during the expansion of Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is up for debate.

Scott Johnston, a spokesperson for Alberta Health, said in a statement that the transition plan is being carried out through consultation with Red Deer area physicians and healthcare professionals.

But Dr. Kym Jim, with the Society for Hospital Expansion in Central Alberta (SHECA), said the plan is still stuck in the idea stage.

“Now we need to see this good idea come to fruition,” Jim said earlier this week.

SHECA has been advocating for a transition plan to prevent patient care from eroding even further at Red Deer’s overburdened hospital and address wide-ranging concerns during the preparation and construction of the $1.8-billion expansion. The group is also calling for a task force to address concerns.


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Earlier this week Infrastructure Minister Pete Guthrie announced that a three-year design phase for project is underway.

Johnston said as design work progresses, and throughout the course of construction, Alberta Health Services has a number of efforts underway to support ongoing and future operations of the hospital.

Some work is happening behind the scenes. For example, renovations on existing semi-private patient rooms in the Cardiology and Telemetry Unit will create six new private Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) spaces. This co-location of the CCU spaces with other cardiac care beds will help support further expansion of cardiology programs at the site. Relocating CCU spaces from their previous location in the ICU has also increased ICU capacity at the site.

He said the cardiac catheterization unit remains a top priority in the Red Deer hospital modernization and is part of the phase one renovations.

The relocation of some existing services – including the Bariatric and Specialized Geriatric Services clinics – within the site in April supports physical access to these services for patients, and utilizes available clinic space to support future expansion of medical specialty clinics like the GI, Respiratory and Infectious Diseases clinics.

“We will continue to work with physicians and other health care professionals to ensure that service is maintained through the construction and transition process of RDRHC,” Johnston said.


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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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