Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan is urging Alberta’s new infrastructure minister to be more transparent about the redevelopment of Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
In an open letter from Stephan sent to Minister Nathan Neudorf on Oct. 31, he underlined that the Red Deer hospital expansion is the number one issue in his constituency.
Stephan called his government’s $1.8 billion investment in this project exciting and long overdue.
“Unfortunately, this good news is undermined by a lack of transparency and accountability … and a regular stream of negative media reporting of operational issues and failures at the hospital,” wrote Stephan.
The MLA stated there must be more accountability and transparency to Central Albertans who rely on the acute health care centre.
Stephan urged Neudorf to follow “three concrete steps:”
- Provide the public with with progressive milestones and deadlines for when various aspects of the project will be completed. “In the real world, no business developer is given a blank cheque with no deadlines and milestones for a project,” he wrote.
- Be directly accountable to citizens by presenting regular project updates at in-person town halls. This way, citizens’ questions can be answered about the expansion’s progress “or lack of it,” stated Stephan. He believes the public distrusts Alberta Health Services, which is doing the on-going planning for the project, due to its “poor results” on getting the project rolling and keeping the public informed.
And Stephan also wants work immediately started on renovating parts of the existing hospital that can improve health outcomes. He feels this will restore the public’s hope and trust that positive changes are coming.