Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Friends of Medicare May 30 at 10:32am · More details on the new hospital being built in Edmonton.

More details on the new hospital being built in Edmonton.

The province is committing $400 million over the next four years for the development of a new hospital in the rapidly growing Heritage Valley area. | Alberta.ca

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Julie Ali Waste of money. We should be fixing the mental health system and increasing the numbers of long term care beds instead of creating another hospital to be a money pit. I also notice we are funding the renovation of the Misericordia Hospital. I understand that this hospital is owned by Covenant Health. Why are we paying $65 million for a private provider's assets? Why has Friends of Medicare not raised this issue? The siphoning away of money from public assets to this private corporation is puzzling and should be questioned. Why was this money not used to expand the Red Deer Hospital instead? We own the Red Deer Hospital. We don't own the Misericordia Hospital. Also why is the Covenant Health group part of the public health care system at all? http://globalnews.ca/.../65m-for-misericordia-hospital.../ In the Alberta government’s 2017 budget, the NDP announced $65 million over four years for upgrades to Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital. On Monday, the province said that modernization project includes a new emergency department.

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April 3, 2017 11:21 am
Updated: April 3, 2017 7:15 pm

$65M for Misericordia Hospital will include new emergency department

By Emily MertzWeb Producer Global News
WATCH ABOVE: On Monday, Alberta's health minister gave more details on plans first announced in last month's budget. As Fletcher Kent reports, Edmonton's Misericordia Hospital will be getting a new emergency department.
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In the Alberta government’s 2017 budget, the NDP announced $65 million over four years for upgrades to Edmonton’s Misericordia Hospital. On Monday, the province said that modernization project includes a new emergency department.
“Funding for a new emergency department is a major step forward towards a modern, vibrant Misericordia that meets the needs of the communities in west Edmonton and beyond for generations to come,” said Patrick Dumelie, Covenant Health president and CEO.


During the 2015-2016 year, the Misericordia saw 51,214 visits to its emergency department; more than double the volume it was designed to accommodate.
The current ER was built in 1969 and it was renovated in 1989.
“The Mis emergency department is the closest hospital for some of Edmonton’s most socio-economically challenged neighbourhoods,” said Tana Fish, program manager of emergency services. “Seniors and people with mental illness represent a large portion of people who come through our doors each day.
“We love the Misericordia and we are proud of the care we provide but there is no question that we work in an environment that has its challenges,” Fish explained. “The space is cramped, there is a lack of privacy… We are excited and grateful for today’s announcement.”
Construction on the new ER will start by late 2018, the province said and will also create “hundreds of good, mortgage-paying jobs,” Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said.
“The new build will not disrupt current services during construction,” Dumelie said. “The current emergency will be built as a connected part of the hospital.”
The $65 million is on top of more than $9 million the province has spent on improvements to elevators, water systems, fire alarms and sprinklers.
On the operations side, health spending remains the biggest-ticket item of the provincial budget, at $21.4 billion– $685 million more than last year. The 3.2-per cent increase comes despite discussion last year by the province that health spending in Alberta was outpacing per capita spending in other provinces, including British Columbia and Ontario. In the last budget, the province noted it was working with AHS to find ways to cut costs.
AHS will receive $14.7 billion, while $5.2 billion will go to compensate the province’s doctors, an increase of $400 million over last year, though the province says a new agreement with the Alberta Medical Association will save $500 million over two years.
The flood at the Misericordia in May 2013 forced more than 50 patients and more than 160 staff members to be transferred to the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Then in 2014, the hospital flooded twice in three weeks because of heavy rainfall.
Since then, there have been calls to replace the hospital, which was built in the 1960s. In 2014, the then-opposition Alberta NDP was among those calling for a replacement hospital.
“Our government is proud to fix problems ignored by the previous government for far too long,” Hoffman said.
“We know the community has been waiting years for improvements at the Misericordia. We are listening and making life better for patients and hospital staff with this investment.”
A report released by AHS in October recommended scaling back upgrades at the Misericordia, to steer funding towards other projects. The same report suggested a new hospital would be needed in Edmonton to keep up with acute care services in the future.

Former premier and current Covenant Health Board Chair Ed Stelmach attended Monday’s announcement.

Julie Ali · 

I am curious. Everyone is yapping about the money received by the Misericordia Hospital but no one is asking why this hospital is getting ANY money from the government of Alberta.

I have some questions about our funding of such a hospital.

1) This hospital is owned by a private organization--which is Covenant Health. So my first question is why are we paying for an emergency for this private organization?

2) What sort of arrangement does Covenant Health have with AHS that governs the provision of services and what are we obliged to pay for in order to get these services?

3) What sort of oversight does AHS and the government of Alberta have over this private organization?

4) What is the benefit to the public of paying for the maintenance, upgrading and expansion of the facilities owned by a private organization when we could build our own hospitals and keep them as public assets?

5) What sort of role does Covenant Health play in the current health authority set up? What legislation provides them with ANY role at all in the health care system? Who set up this role for Covenant Health and why?

6) Recently in Saskatchewan there was a court ruling indicating that public dollars are not required to go the public school system. Similarly I don't believe that public dollars need to go to a Catholic health authority and as such why are public dollars going to a separate health authority?

7) Why is there no information provided to the public of the legal requirements of Alberta Health with reference to this private organization and it's role in the health care system? It is not clear to me if there are any laws that define the role of Covenant Health and it's requirement for funding by the public. In my opinion, we are wasting money on a second health authority with duplication of bureaucratic systems as well as the major amounts of cash being spent on Covenant Health Executive staff in addition to the AHS executive staff. We're not made of money. If we're not legally required to sustain this second health care authority --it should be dissolved or it should fund itself in terms of maintenance, upgrades and additions.

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