Heart facility finally set to open
EDMONTON – After more than a year
of delays, the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute will open by the end
of June, officials said.
The advanced medical centre, a $217-million, 132-bed facility, was first
scheduled to open in September 2005, then in 2007.
Last May, provincial and federal politicians celebrated its opening. But
since then, the only part to open has been a cardiovascular and stroke
Ongoing construction problems and difficulties merging old and new
hospital technology have kept the Mazankowski from being fully
functional and cost taxpayers millions.
Earlier this year, the Edmonton Journal learned that more than 1,300
construction changes had to be made over the course of building the
hospital. In a letter, Ken Hughes, chairman of Alberta Health Services
board, said there is now a “renewed commitment from all parties (for) a
The hospital is expected to be handed over by May 31. Then it will take
about two weeks to inspect the facility and issue occupancy permits.
Alberta Health Services staff should be in the building by June 15, and
Hughes said, they will be “followed shortly thereafter by patient
move-in to general care and intensive care units, operating theatres and
Edmonton-Riverview Liberal MLA Kevin Taft, who’s been pushing the
government on the delays since November, said he’ll believe the hospital
is open when it actually happens.
“I hope it’s good news,” Taft said. “We all want to see this place up
and running, given the service (that) has been promised for so long.
It’s gotten to the point, frankly, where I’ll believe it when I see it.”