Alberta Health Services says work is progressing on a plan to expand Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, but it has provided no further details.
In early July, AHS said the $100-million project had faced a three-month delay due to COVID-19.
In a recent update, AHS said in a statement that it, “remains committed to working to improve services and enhance health-care delivery in Red Deer.”
AHS also reiterated that initial work on the business case includes finalizing recommendations on an expanded campus of care at the hospital, and finalizing services that could more appropriately be located elsewhere in the community to keep people well and out of hospital.
City Coun. Ken Johnston said he would like more definitive information on the project, but admitted it has been an extraordinary year.
“(AHS) certainly has their hands full, but I have every confidence that these plans are being drawn up in as timely a way as they can be,” Johnston said.
“I’m still very, very optimistic.”
AHS is working on the project with Alberta Infrastructure and the consulting firm Altus Planning Inc.
More than three years ago, about 10 doctors went public with service and infrastructure shortcomings impacting patient care at the hospital, and specifically identified the need for cardiac catheterization services.
Many people in the community and region supported the doctors and called for expansion of the facility.
Johnston said the February announcement seems like such a long time ago, given the upheaval caused by the pandemic.
Given the circumstances, hospital expansion would be an ideal government infrastructure project to address a long overdue community need, and put Albertans back to work, said Johnston.
“This would be, I think, a slam dunk. That’s what makes me so optimistic that this thing is going to get done.”
The design process for the project was originally expected to proceed this fall. Construction was to begin in 2021.