The timeline for the hospital expansion should be known after the business plan wraps up at the end of April, says Red Deer North MLA Adriana LaGrange. (File photo by Advocate staff)

The timeline for the hospital expansion should be known after the business plan wraps up at the end of April, says Red Deer North MLA Adriana LaGrange. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Red Deer hospital construction to begin this fall, but project lacks timeline

More will be known once the business case wraps up next month, says MLA

Timelines for the Red Deer hospital expansion will become known once the business case is completed next month, says Red Deer North MLA Adriana LaGrange.

Construction for the hospital’s redevelopment is still set to begin this fall, according to Alberta Health.

LaGrange said she was assured more will be known once the business plan wraps up at the end of April.

The $100 million promised by the provincial government for the first phase “is not going anywhere,” stressed LaGrange, who believes the $59 million earmarked for the next three years of the project in the last provincial budget was just an estimate.

“We know there will be more than one phase, so the money will be provided as necessary.”

Five million dollars has been allocated to the project in 2021 “to help see construction begin this fall,” said Zoe Cooper, communications director for Alberta Health.

This is part of the Alberta government’s $100 million commitment, “which we expect to see allocated in future budget years. Funding will be informed by the project scope, as it is finalized,” Cooper added.

She confirmed the hospital’s business case will outline the scope, schedule and the full cost of the redevelopment.

Alberta Health and Alberta Infrastructure, with input from Alberta Health Services, have been considering providing an “expanded the campus of care” at Red Deer hospital, said Cooper, referring to providing different levels of care out of the same location.

As well, they are examining which out-patient services could be located elsewhere in the community “to help keep people well and out of hospital,” said Cooper.

Related:

-Pandemic is putting unprecedented strain on hospital

-Partial approval is not good enough, says NDP

The hospital’s business case will address installing for a cardiac catheterization lab to help heart-attack victims, and potential upgrades to the medical device reprocessing department, which sterilizes equipment.

The needs of the surgical department have been examined — as as well as the hospital’s patient bed capacity, added Cooper.

She stated the government will continue working with AHS on defining the next stages of development. Alberta Health, Alberta Infrastructure and AHS will also continue engaging with working groups, said Cooper.

“As the project scope and work is approved, engagement opportunities will grow and we will be working to involve more patients, families, and public and community partners as appropriate.”



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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