Call it healthy growth … Alberta Health Ser- vices will seek $1.5 billion from the Province of Alberta to build and renovate health facilities in the province during the next three years. This
is on top of an ongoing $5-billion construction and
renovation program. The investment responds to
Alberta’s growing and aging population, both now
and in the future.
AHS’s proposed 2011–2014 capital submissions
include more than 20 large-scale projects — from new
hospitals to new equipment — and improving access to
high-priority health services and programs. As well, it
calls for major upgrades to many existing facilities.
“We have an existing 3 million square metres of
owned building space, and want to ensure that these
assets are well-maintained and meet current medical
needs and expectations,” explains Penny Rae, AHS’s
senior vice-president of Capital Management. “We are
also creating ‘shelled space’ in our new buildings for
future capacity, which is more cost-effective than hav-
ing to start from scratch when we need to expand.”
AHS is looking at new ways to deliver health care
more effectively and efficiently.
“Rather than necessarily building more hospitals to
add beds, we are exploring different options to ensure
Albertans are getting the right care, in the right place at
the right time,” says Joan McGregor, AHS’s vice-presi-
dent of Strategic and Service Planning. “For instance,
we are expanding continuing care for seniors who are
currently in hospitals so they can be cared for in a more
appropriate setting. This is much better for seniors and
reduces stress on hospitals, freeing up beds.”
The proposed plan also focuses on wellness by im-
proving access to primary care — health services that
patients often go to first, such as doctors’ offices.
“We want to keep Albertans from needing to go to
a hospital in the first place. With better access to the
frontlines of care, we know people can remain healthier
and manage disease better,” says McGregor.
The proposed capital submission will address health
care in the entire the province.
“Over the past 10 years, we’ve worked very hard to
address the needs of areas with explosive growth,” Rae
says. “Now we are focusing more on the rural areas —
consolidating services, repurposing facilities and finding ways to best meet the needs in those communities.
We’re proposing a lot more smaller projects in rural
areas through this capital plan.”
reported by KATHryN KrANENBUrG, AHS
Alberta Health Services’ proposed capital plan will be one of the cornerstones of a joint province-wide
health plan by Alberta Health and Wellness and AHS. The visionary plan was announced earlier this fall.
For details, visit albertahealthservices.ca/capitalprojects.asp
“We are exploring
different options to
ensure Albertans are
getting the right care,
in the right place, at
the right time.”
– Joan McGregor, vice-president of
Strategic and Service Planning, AHS
Turning sod to celebrate the beginning of construction of a new seniors care
facility in Grande Prairie.