The Government of Alberta announces a major $100 million first phase expansion of the Red Deer Hospital.
First phase of Red Deer hospital expansion announced
The Alberta government is committing $100 million to begin expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre.
LIVE: Announcing a much-needed expansion for the Red Deer Hospital
Posted by Jason Kenney on Wednesday, 26 February 2020
This capital funding is in addition to the $20.6 billion annual budget for health services, the highest ever in the province and the highest per capita of all provinces.
“For years, residents of central Alberta and Red Deer have been calling for their hospital to be expanded. Our government is the first to listen. I’m proud to announce funding will be made available as part of Budget 2020 for the first phase of the Red Deer hospital expansion.”
The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is the busiest hospital outside Edmonton and Calgary and has operated beyond its design capacity for many years.
The funding will expedite work to finalize the project scope, construction schedule, operating budget, and expansion of health care services at the facility.
“Past governments wasted years on half-measures and planning that we are completing now. This initial $100-million commitment is our promise to Red Deer that we will get this done right, and as soon as possible.”
“Designing, planning and building health infrastructure provides good jobs for Albertans. We are committed to getting the front-end work of this project right so that the people of Red Deer and surrounding areas have a hospital that meets their needs.”
“The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is one of the busiest hospitals in Alberta and is the primary health-service provider for our citizens, the regional population, and every Albertan travelling along the central QEII corridor. Today’s announcement by the Government of Alberta responds to this longstanding infrastructure need of our community. The lives, health and well-being of our loved ones matter most of all, and this vital investment and expansion will help ensure access to care and improved health outcomes that the people of Red Deer and central Alberta critically need.”
“This is excellent news for Red Deer and all of central Alberta. The Red Deer community has long advocated for improvements to the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, and this initial funding commitment clearly demonstrates our government’s willingness to listen to, and act upon, the concerns of Albertans from all across the province.”
“This is great news for central Albertans! Thank you to the leadership of Premier Kenney and Minister Shandro in hearing the concerns of central Albertans and taking decisive action to improve access to much-needed health services in our community.”
- The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre provides a full spectrum of acute care, including advanced surgery, internal medicine and diagnostics, as well as obstetrics, pediatrics, oncology, critical care and emergency care.
- Approximately 50 per cent of patients seen at the hospital are referred from outside Red Deer.
- The population of the Red Deer area is expected to increase by 24 per cent to 358,000 by 2035.
Premier Kenney announced five more COVID deaths – Alberta COVID Update for April 3
From the Province of Alberta
Alberta Bits and Pieces program highlights Albertan ingenuity, generosity
Over the past week, more than 1,100 offers of support have poured in from private and non-profit organizations through the Government of Alberta’s Bits and Pieces program.
The offers include passenger and commercial vehicles, hotel rooms and mobile trailers, food and water services, hospital gowns, face masks, ventilators and other personal protective equipment. They also highlight innovation in local manufacturing, with several Alberta distilleries offering sanitizer they produced and a drapery manufacturer offering medical garments and bedding it produced.
The program is named after the “bits and pieces program” established by Canada’s Minister of Munitions and Supply during the Second World War, C. D. Howe. The program coordinated innovative production and procurement efforts from across the Canadian economy to support the war effort.
“I’m deeply touched by the outpouring of support we’re seeing from private and non-profit organizations, both foreign and domestic. When times are tough, Alberta’s spirit of ingenuity and generosity always answers the call.”
One example is ATCO, the Alberta-founded and based company that got its start providing trailers for the oilpatch and is now best known to Albertans as a provider of gas and electricity, which has offered to contribute up to several hundred trailers if needed. These could be used for COVID testing, treatment and quarantining, especially in rural and remote areas without adequate medical facilities.
In addition to many local companies offering and innovating to provide products, Alberta’s post-secondary institutions are leading in areas of research, with one researcher at the University of Alberta working to develop a virus-killing medical mask.
“Albertans are leaders, and I’m humbled to see our province leading and giving back in so many ways. The offers and innovation we’re seeing take place across our province right now will help our government meet the demands and challenges we face today, and the ones we’ll face in the future.”
The Government of Alberta encourages individuals, private companies and non-profit organizations who can offer products and services, including personal protective equipment, to visit the offers webpage at alberta.ca/covid19.
Examples of Alberta companies filling the need
- ATCO has confirmed their ability to deploy hundreds of trailers for medical testing, quarantining and treatment, especially in rural and remote areas.
- Calgary-based Fluid Energy Group has signed a letter of intent with the federal government to produce hand sanitizer.
- The Rocky Mountain Soap Company in Canmore received certification from Health Canada to create a naturally derived hand sanitizer that is available online.
- Alberta Garment is transitioning to produce hospital gowns.
- Alberta’s manufacturing sector is working to tackle the spread of COVID-19 by exploring new solutions for personal protective equipment.
Calgary ban on public events includes Flames, Stampeders should leagues restart
Calgary’s ban on public events until June 30 includes NHL and CFL games should those leagues resume before then, the city’s mayor said Friday.
Leagues, games and tournaments around the world have been suspended, cancelled or postponed indefinitely because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Thirteen Albertans had died and the number of those infected in the province was closing in on 1,000 on Friday.
“Even if before the end of June we are in a situation where we think we’ve seen the other side of the mountain, even if we’re at a place where the number of cases are coming down, I’m no epidemiologist, but I don’t think it’s wise to say ‘hey everybody, let’s have seventeen, twenty or thirty-five thousand people all in one space,'” Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said.
“That’s probably just not wise from a public health perspective.
“Certainly between now and the end of June, I cannot imagine that you would see events like that starting up again.”
The NHL suspended operations March 12 with 189 regular-season games remaining.
The Calgary Flames were in playoff position sitting third in the Pacific Division with a 36-27-7 record.
The NHL doesn’t yet have a timeline for re-starting the league and has asked teams for arena availability dates through August, according to The Associated Press.
All CFL training camps have been postponed. Rookie camps were to open May 13 followed by main camps May 17.
The Calgary Stampeders are marking their 75th year in 2020.
The Stampeders were to host the Saskatchewan Roughriders in an exhibition game May 30. Then they were to open the regular season entertaining the Montreal Alouettes and B.C. Lions on June 12 and June 18, respectively.
Toronto’s ban on city-led events through June 30, announced earlier this week, does not prohibit professional sporting events.
That means the Maple Leafs and Raptors still could hypothetically play games at Scotiabank Arena, the Blue Jays could play at the Rogers Centre and Toronto FC and the Argonauts could play at BMO Field.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 3, 2020.
The Canadian Press
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