Alberta aims to build top heart-care
centre in western Canada
EDMONTON – Alberta
announced that it will invest $36.5 million of this year’s projected
multi-billion dollar surplus to expand the Mazankowski Heart Institute –
part of a plan to transform the centre into the top cardiac care
facility in western Canada.
The money will be used to complete three additional levels at the
facility. The extra space will allow researchers now working at the
University Hospital to move their work into the institute and free up
hospital space for clinical care.
The new levels at the heart institute will house a virtual cardiac
centre, specialized testing and imaging services, research programs and
regional cardiac rehabilitation.
Health Minister Ron Liepert made the announcement at the institute,
saying the move should allay fears expressed by some that the province’s
decision to disband the health regions and create one health
“superboard” could one day take away from Edmonton’s reputation as a
centre of excellence in health research.
“I don’t think there’s a better way we can demonstrate our commitment
to this city and to this region in terms of continued research than the
announcement we’re making today,” he said.
Dr. Arvind Koshal, chief of cardiovascular surgery and director of
development and external affairs for the Mazankowski Heart Institute,
said the new funding could make the institute one of the top cardiac
care facilities in the world.
“It means we can create a truly integrated cardiac care centre of
excellence with everything under one roof – the clinicians and the
researchers who study the human heart.It allows us not to just work
together, but side-by-side,” he said.
“We don’t want to be just a world-class building, we want it to be a
world-class heart institute.”
Liepert said this will be one of several health funding announcements to
be made in the near future, as the provincial government prepares its
quarterly financial report.