Operating room project still going ahead

The construction of two operating rooms for Red Deer hospital’s maternity ward is still going ahead even though Alberta Health is looking to delay some capital projects, says an Alberta Health spokesperson.

The construction of two operating rooms for Red Deer hospital’s maternity ward is still going ahead even though Alberta Health is looking to delay some capital projects, says an Alberta Health spokesperson.

Last week, the province announced construction of the $1.3-billion cancer centre in Calgary was put on hold due to the impact of plummeting oil prices on Alberta’s revenue.

“It’s the larger capital projects that are just in planning, where there are very, very large expenditures next year, that we have to look at to see if they have to be put off to make room in the budget,” said Alberta Health spokesperson Steve Buick.

There has been no suggestion of us looking at (Red Deer’s operating rooms). As of right now, that project goes ahead.”

Earlier this year, Alberta Health Services announced it was contributing $9.7 million to build the operating rooms. The 18-month construction project is to begin in 2015.

Currently, obstetric surgical patients are taken to the operating unit located on another floor, creating safety challenges in emergency situations.

On average, about 225 babies are born in the hospital every month, and a third of those deliveries result in C-sections.

Red Deer Regional Health Foundation recently raised $1.07 million through its annual event Festival of Trees to equip the operating rooms.

Buick said maintenance funding for Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is not in jeopardy either to cut provincial costs.

“We know that we need to keep on doing maintenance. We’re behind on it and we need to catch up.

“In Red Deer since 2010, we’ve spent $3.7 million on maintenance and as a result of that we’ve actually reduced the deferred maintenance amount outstanding at Red Deer.”

The Red Deer hospital has $20.3 million in deferred maintenance and most of the 31 projects were awaiting funding approval in the next three to five years.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com