Alberta’s Budget 2021 is supporting several healthcare infrastructure projects across the province, including the vital expansion of the neonatal intensive care unit at Calgary’s Foothills hospital. A $143-million investment from Budget 2021 will start work on five priority health capital projects.
“Taxpayers are spending at unprecedented levels, supporting lives and livelihoods through health capital projects,” said Prasad Panda, Alberta’s Minister of Infrastructure. “Through these five new priority health capital projects, we’re announcing hundreds of good jobs and a long-term investment in the health of Albertans.”
Foothills Medical Centre’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is one of the busiest in the country, admitting three to four newborns every day with acute medical needs. The NICU is often 90 per cent full – and sometimes over capacity – since women with high-risk pregnancies, from Red Deer south to the U.S. border, all go to the Foothills for obstetrical deliveries and support.
A $23-million investment from Budget 2021, plus a significant contribution from the Calgary Health Foundation, will support the work to add 19 more NICU beds to better support growing families.
Other New Priority Health Capital Projects:
- With more than $18 million, work will begin on a new cyclotron and southern Alberta’s first radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Calgary. Radiopharmaceuticals are an important class of drugs that are used to treat diseases, such as cancer, and to help in diagnostic imaging for a range of medical conditions.
- A $59-million project at Calgary’s Rockyview General Hospital will redevelop and relocate the intensive care unit and coronary care unit to one joint expanded space with 25 beds, up from the current 17 beds. Additional support from the Calgary Health Foundation will expand Rockyview’s gastrointestinal clinic by adding two endoscopy suites.
- La Crete in northern Alberta will get a new $35-million community health centre with more space to provide primary and ambulatory care, maternal health care to moms and families, mental health and diagnostic services.
- Another $8 million will demolish the old High Prairie Health Complex and prepare the land for future development.
Budget 2021 provides a three-year, $3.4-billion commitment for health-related capital projects and programs, including:
- $2.2 billion for health infrastructure projects, including continued investment to complete ongoing projects such as the Calgary Cancer Centre, the Gene Zwozdesky Centre at Norwood and the new Edmonton hospital, as well as $143 million for the five new projects.
- $766 million for Alberta Health Services self-financed capital, for parkades, equipment and other capital requirements.
- $343 million for capital maintenance and renewal of existing facilities.
- $90 million for health department IT projects.
Featured image: Minister of Health Tyler Shandro and Minister of Infrastructure Prasad Panda spoke to reporters on March 4, 2021, about the $143-million investment in five new health capital projects. Also in attendance were Minister of Labour and Immigration Jason Copping, Dr. Ted Braun, vice-president and medical director, Clinical Operations, Alberta Health Services, Mike Meldrum, president and CEO, Calgary Health Foundation, and Molly and Patrick Wilding, parents to Gianna. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)