Friday, March 17, 2017

--The future of Edmonton’s beleaguered network of hospitals and health facilities finally received some clarity Thursday from the NDP government, which approved more than $1 billion for a handful of major projects in the city. At the top of the list in the latest provincial budget was $400 million in initial funding for a brand new suburban hospital, along with two additions to the Royal Alexandra Hospital campus, upgrades to the Misericordia Community Hospital and a new centralized pharmacy facility.----------Julie Ali · University of Alberta I cannot figure out the decision making tree at Alberta Health. Why is there another hospital being built in Edmonton? We have enough hospitals and certainly we have enough money being spent on health. What is needed is clear justification for these decisions. I also don't see why we need to have a second health authority in Covenant Health. In my opinion one province wide health authority in AHS would save citizens major bucks and would avoid the duplication of administrative services, executive staff and bureaucracy associated with two health authorities. Time for the GOA to phase out Covenant Health entirely. Where is the money for all this infrastructure is coming from as well.? And how do such investments keep the NDP promise of 2,000 new long term care beds? Rather than investing in more acute care facilities it would have been productive to have more investment in public continuing care facilities to take the demands off acute care facilities. The seniors stuck in the acute care system could be living quality lives in publicly funded long term care and continuing care facilities. Instead we have government supplying public dollars to private real estate companies to handle the continuing care system for government and we have expensive acute care facilities being built that will have to take care of seniors who cannot be housed anywhere else. Some intelligent planning is required and public continuing care facilities for complex care patients in a place like the Michener Centre for example would have been an reasonable policy decision. I feel that health care decision making is now some sort of lottery with the winnings going to either Edmonton or Calgary. What about the folks in Red Deer? What about the folks in Airdrie? When will government address the needs of all Albertans?

I can't understand the decision by the GOA to waste more money to build yet another acute care hospital when the demand is at the tail end of the cycle--in terms of publicly funded long term care and continuing care facilities in the public sector. Why bother to add more acute care beds to house hard to place seniors in hospitals when these same folks could be living quality lives in decent public continuing care facilities?
Why not even use the Michener Centre and repurpose it for complex care in Alberta?
It seems that only Edmonton and Calgary get the lottery winnings in Health.
Everyone else -as in Red Deer or Airdrie are losers.


The future of Edmonton’s beleaguered network of hospitals and health facilities finally received some clarity Thursday from the NDP government, which approved…
EDMONTONJOURNAL.COM

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http://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/budget-2017-edmontons-aging-hospitals-get-1-billion-dose-of-treatment

Budget 2017: Health leaders applaud investments in Edmonton's aging hospitals

Published on: March 17, 2017 | Last Updated: March 17, 2017 2:09 PM MDT
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Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman
The future of Edmonton’s beleaguered network of hospitals and health facilities finally received some clarity Thursday from the NDP government, which approved more than $1 billion for a handful of major projects in the city.
At the top of the list in the latest provincial budget was $400 million in initial funding for a brand new suburban hospital, along with two additions to the Royal Alexandra Hospital campus, upgrades to the Misericordia Community Hospital and a new centralized pharmacy facility.
“I think this is huge,” Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said. “It’s a win-win-win for Edmonton and everyone in the province who relies on these facilities. Our city continues to grow and we need more space, period.”
Still, some of the funding decisions will undoubtedly come as a disappointment to advocates who have been campaigning for more complete overhauls of the aging Royal Alex and Misericordia. The approved projects do not address the major complaint of aging and unreliable infrastructure in the hospitals’ patient wards, which often cram four or five people into a room.
As well, the budget has set aside just $20 million for a new medical testing lab in the city, a project that has been pegged at $325 million.

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AHS CEO Verna Yiu acknowledged Edmonton’s long list of infrastructure needs, but called approval of the new projects an exciting event that should allow the health authority to offer better patient experiences and outcomes.
“We are cognizant of the budgetary challenges the province is facing, so any investment we get, I have to say I’m grateful,” she said.
As for the new hospital, the government will get the project going with an investment of $400 million to be rolled out between 2018 and 2020, though the facility will end up costing considerably more and take several years to build.  Further details will come soon, Hoffman said.
While the city has received additions to existing hospitals in recent years, it has not seen an entirely new hospital constructed since 1988 when the Grey Nuns was completed.
One potential site for the new hospital is a parcel of Crown land at 127 Street and Anthony Henday Drive, which had been considered a potential location for rebuilding the Misercordia.
The aging west end hospital will not get rebuilt at this point, but instead will have to make do with a “modernization,” that will involve a major expansion of its emergency department. The budget has set aside $65 million over the next four years for that project.
Patrick Dumelie, CEO of Covenant Health, which runs the Misericordia, said he was “elated” with the announcement. Expanding the emergency department is the first phase of a broader redevelopment that Covenant is planning, he said, adding that he hopes future phases will also be funded.
Also featured in the capital budget is $520 million for two projects on the Royal Alex campus: a new child and youth mental health building ($155 million) and an overhaul of CapitalCare Norwood ($364 million), which provides continuing care and restorative care services. The latter project will increase the number of enhanced, long-term care beds from 205 to 350 at Norwood.
Andrew Otway, president of the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, said he was happy for the funding even though the aging main treatment centre at the hospital wasn’t included. He said the two projects are needed to begin to overhaul the entire hospital campus.
kgerein@postmedia.com
Twitter.com/keithgerein
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Julie Ali ·
I cannot figure out the decision making tree at Alberta Health. Why is there another hospital being built in Edmonton? We have enough hospitals and certainly we have enough money being spent on health.
What is needed is clear justification for these decisions.

I also don't see why we need to have a second health authority in Covenant Health. In my opinion one province wide health authority in AHS would save citizens major bucks and would avoid the duplication of administrative services, executive staff and bureaucracy associated with two health authorities. Time for the GOA to phase out Covenant Health entirely.

Where is the money for all this infrastructure coming from as well.? And how do such investments keep the NDP promise of 2,000 new long term care beds? Rather than investing in more acute care facilities it would have been productive to have more investment in public continuing care facilities to take the demands off acute care facilities. The seniors stuck in the acute care system could be living quality lives in publicly funded long term care and continuing care facilities. Instead we have government supplying public dollars to private real estate companies to handle the continuing care system for government and we have expensive acute care facilities being built that will have to take care of seniors who cannot be housed anywhere else.

Some intelligent planning is required and public continuing care facilities for complex care patients in a place like the Michener Centre for example would have been an reasonable policy decision. I feel that health care decision making is now some sort of lottery with the winnings going to either Edmonton or Calgary. What about the folks in Red Deer? What about the folks in Airdrie? When will government address the needs of all Albertans?
LikeReplyJust now
Michael Cameron ·
Awesome!!!! Hope they also work on reducing wait times. The PC did have one good idea. A flat rate charge for people who take up emergency room space for minor things like the sniffles.
LikeReply2Mar 16, 2017 4:23pm
Dar Dealmeida
Glad to hear this, it also means our Premier is confident on the pipeline to tide project! Jobs will be underway and our pathetic forgotton infrastructure as in hospitals will get the funding Albertans need.
LikeReply1Mar 16, 2017 8:13pm
Larry Eason ·
Works at Retired
So as I write this I am listening to Joe Ceci on CHED radio. One of his first statements was that they are now going to focus on reducing the deficit and then eliminating the debt. I guess the devil is in the wording because if you believe that they will start to control spending you are dreaming and as for eliminating the deficit and the debt, well.....I think you get my point. WHY DO POLITICIANS ALWAYS LIE? . Economists will tell you that to the extent that the debt is within Canada it is good debt however I question that as well. It is as simple as when the debt keeps climbing the interest on that debt increases accordingly which means less money for real returns and more to the banks. Ridiculous!
UnlikeReply6Mar 16, 2017 5:00pm
Dean S Astill
Hoffman should step down.
UnlikeReply25 hrs
Alex Labaschuk ·
Princess Three Chins is an embarassment in more ways than one.
LikeReply34 hrs
Dar Dealmeida
Alex Labaschuk
Comments like that make you a low life!
LikeReply3 hrs
Dean S Astill
A low life like calling hard working Albertans sewer rats
LikeReply13 hrs
Dean S Astill
I'm a sewer rat
LikeReply3 hrs
Alex Labaschuk ·
Dar Dealmeida maybe in reality I am a lowlife as I spent 50 years working in the oilfields paying a royal amount in taxes. I should have looked into getting into the public trough but then I may have ended up looking like Three Chins. Isn't she a prime representative of health!
LikeReply13 hrs
Dean S Astill
Wouldn't worry to much about Hoffman. Latest polls in Alberta have them in a solid third place.
UnlikeReply12 hrs
Dean S Astill
Wouldn't worry to much about Hoffman. Latest polls in Alberta have them in a solid third place.
LikeReply2 hrs


None of these decisions make any sense to me. Instead of making a new hospital why not expand or renovate the ones we have? Why not build public long term care and continuing care facilities that are in the public realm to take the pressure off the acute care system? Why not have a complex care facility at Michener Centre? Why not increase capacity at Red Deer Hospital and provide some more services at places like Airdrie? Why is it that Alberta Health divides up the loot between Calgary and Edmonton alone?
It's ridiculous.
And I don't see why we need to be paying for two bureaucracies with their expensive executive staff in both AHS and Covenant Health. It is apparent to me that there is no political will for reform of an entrenched health care bureaucracy that is costing us too much nor is there any interest in providing citizens with deliverables for the major tax dollars we pay to service the health care system.
It's time for a change. Citizens need to be yapping about these decisions that do not benefit us.



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