Alberta Mirror

Friday, September 29, 2023

The region reveals a $1.8B project to expand Red Deer hospital


Key takeaways: 

  • Building to begin within the following three years.
  • The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre helps about half a million individuals in central Alberta. 

Central Alberta’s Red Deer Hospital to expand: 

The Alberta government promises to pay $1.8 billion to develop the struggling Red Deer Regional Hospital.

The hospital operates near half a million individuals in central Alberta and has been invaded by bed needs and backlogs for years, and regularly operates overcapacity. But the problems have been aggravated by rising demand and staffing shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Premier Jason Kenney told his government’s $1.8-billion promise will start with Thursday’s budget, when $193 million will be committed over the following three years. 

The budget of $193 million has the $100 million earlier promised by the government in early 2020. Building work was slated to start in 2021; however, it did not get underway.

“This is a banner day.… Mark it down, Red Deer, as a historic day for this neighborhood,” stated Kenney, who defined the oath as the single-largest hospital growth in the history of Alberta’s healthcare system.

Read more: Alberta county enacts a policy that prevents businesses with vaccine orders from winning agreements

Alberta plans to expand Red Deer hospital with a budget of $8.1Million

“Too many households in this part of the region have gone through hardship in getting satisfactory care for their loved ones despite the often courageous efforts of our front-line healthcare workers.”

The regional government has met increasing calls to manage capacity issues at the hospital.

“Through the rise of COVID surges, too often we had to move patients out of this hospital, sometimes by medevac to Calgary and Edmonton, because the ICUs were overflowing,” Kenney stated.

A 2015 report from Alberta Health Services (AHS) concluded the hospital lacked almost 100 beds.

Health Minister Jason Copping told the budget will count 200 beds — getting the capacity from 370 to 570 — and three additional operating rooms for a tally of 14, as well as a long-awaited cardiac catheterization lab.

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