box10.gif (1299 bytes)







Government & policy

$1.3 billion to be invested in Calgary and Edmonton

CALGARY – Cancer treatment capacity in Calgary and Edmonton will expand significantly as a result of a new $208 million cancer infrastructure plan. The effort is part of Phase 2 of the Government of Alberta’s Health Capital Plan, which will provide $1.3 billion over three years for new and previously announced projects in Edmonton and Calgary.

Phase 1, announced in July, provided $1.2 billion for projects outside Edmonton and Calgary and province-wide funding for maintenance, facility transition initiatives, and technology and equipment upgrades. Therefore, the total health capital infrastructure investment will be $2.5 billion over 3 years, 2010/11 through 2012/13.

“Our government and Alberta Health Services recently announced our 5-Year Health Action Plan - Canada’s most aggressive commitment to increase access to our publicly funded health system,” said Health and Wellness Minister Gene Zwozdesky (pictured).

“Our Health Capital Plan provides the infrastructure needed to increase access and reduce wait times for key services identified in the 5-year action plan, including cancer care, surgery, and emergency.”

The province also recently announced $105 million to build new continuing care spaces, in support of the commitment to open at least 1,000 new spaces a year for the next 5 years. More than 800 new spaces have already been opened this year.

“Today’s announcement is a milestone for our commitment to maintaining and expanding a world-class cancer care program in Alberta,” said Dr. Chris Eagle, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer of Alberta Health Services. “This funding will provide urgently needed capacity now, and it will also lay the foundation for further capacity increases over the next 5-10 years.”

The Health Capital Plan includes funding for 8 new projects and for 8 previously announced projects in Calgary and Edmonton.

New Projects
1. Calgary cancer infrastructure plan – $141 million (including $78 million for 2010/11-2012/13)

• Tom Baker/Foothills site: redevelop and expand cancer care, including an additional 64 inpatient beds; replace the existing Bone Marrow Transplant Unit; add 2 radiation vaults; relocate selected non-cancer ambulatory services to Richmond Road site to free up space for cancer expansion.

• Richmond Road Diagnostic and Treatment Centre (former Alberta Children’s Hospital): redevelop to accommodate services relocated from Foothills Medical Centre.

2. Edmonton cancer infrastructure plan – $67 million (including $39 million for 2010/11-2012/13)

• Cross Cancer Institute: add an additional new Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography (PET/CT) scanner; add 1 new radiation therapy vault

• Expand space for radiation therapy, laboratory science and diagnostic services

3. Prostate cancer clinic (Edmonton) – Northern Alberta Urology Centre

• $10 million in contributions from the community (Campaign for Prostate Health); provincial infrastructure funding has been allocated within the budget for Edmonton Clinic South

4. Safe Communities (SafeCom) Initiative – $40.3 million (including $32.8 million for 2010/11-2012/13)

• Develop 100 new detoxification, residential treatment, and/or concurrent addiction and mental health beds province-wide, including Calgary and Edmonton (specific sites are now under negotiation)

5. Vascular Surgery Program enhancement (Calgary) – Peter Lougheed Centre (PLC) - $25 million

• Redevelop 2 operating rooms at PLC to accommodate increased volume and more-complex cases (these will be state-of-the-art hybrid operating suites)

• Relocate and expand an existing inpatient vascular surgery unit within PLC

• Expand the new vascular surgery unit at PLC from the original 32 beds to 40, to increase access to vascular surgery and reduce wait times

• The new unit will be located within the shelled-in 5th floor of the East wing addition at PLC

• New ambulatory care clinic

6. Women’s Health Program redevelopment (Calgary) – Peter Lougheed Centre - $11.6 million

• Renovate the entire 3rd floor of PLC

• Redevelop the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, post-partum, ante-partum, clinics, labour and delivery rooms, pediatrics, and inpatient unit

• Add 5 Labour and Delivery Rooms and 1 operating room

7. Pediatric Intensive Care Unit expansion (Edmonton) – Stollery Children’s Hospital - $8.7 million

• Expand and renovate the Pediatric ICU to add 4 new beds, and improve efficiency of the Pediatric and Neonatal ICUs

8. Endoscopy Suite Expansion (Edmonton) – University of Alberta Hospital - $14.5 million

• Relocate and expand the endoscopy suite next to the existing pediatric surgical suite. This will add an additional 5 new procedure rooms

“These health capital projects will deliver real and substantial improvements in accessibility and patient care. It is about adding new capacity where needed, and also making the best use of existing resources by redeveloping space and incorporating the latest technology,” said Ray Danyluk, Minister of Infrastructure. “We worked closely with doctors and health officials to develop the right infrastructure solutions that will work for patients and medical professionals. We will continue to work in partnership to complete these projects as quickly as possible.”

It was also confirmed that an additional $69.1 million has been allocated for construction of the new Strathcona Hospital in Sherwood Park. Phase 2 of that project will include inpatient beds and operating rooms. Construction is currently underway on Phase 1 of the hospital, which will include 24/7 Emergency services.

Posted December 16, 2010