In a few months Red Deerians may finally get a look at the plan for Red Deer’s hospital $1.8-billion expansion project, says Premier Jason Kenney.
Kenney said Alberta Health Services is working with the local community and Alberta Infrastructure to finalize the plans.
“I’m hopeful that in the next few months they’ll be able to release the total build plan to the public,” Kenney said on Tuesday.
“There’s been a lot of input from the community, for example the cath lab and other priorities, and they’ll incorporate as much of that as they can.”
In February, Kenney announced $1.8 billion to redevelop and expand Red Deer hospital after initially pledging $100 million three years ago for the first phase of improvements. Construction was to start in 2021.
Deputy Mayor Victor Doerksen said the city is also waiting to see the expansion plan.
“We were pleased that the premier reiterated that commitment again yesterday, nevertheless, it is also frustrating that a plan has not yet been shared, and no plans have been put in place for our hospital yet,” Doerksen said in a statement.
“We were grateful and remain grateful for the funding, but what we need now is to see a plan going forward and know how this is going to help in the medium to long term. We are optimistic that this will be delivered to our community in the coming months, and we very much look forward to seeing the plans come to fruition.”
Kenney said the scale of the project, and the complexities of adding to the existing hospital, moving patients, and retrofitting older spaces, is the reason it has taken time to plan.
“There’s a constant challenge of maintaining services while expanding the facility. All of that will be clear when they release the plan.”
He said it’s important to avoid changes to the plan, which happened to Grande Prairie’s new hospital and delayed that project by nine years.
“We don’t want to repeat that. So once we have the plan, we want it to be comprehensive and avoid changes.”