The Government of Alberta has announced that the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital project is experiencing a significant budget over-run, which will mean changes to the facility’s scope and a delay in completion of about one year.
The change in scope is a result of higher than expected tenders and cost escalation.
It is unfortunate there will be a delay to the completion of the new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital and that some of the services offered at the hospital will change.
However, at AHS we will do all we can to mitigate any impact that these delays and changes may have on our community.
Our patients are our always priority, and our job is to ensure they continue to receive quality and timely care. This will continue regardless of the changes required at the new hospital.
We understand the importance of ensuring Albertans’ tax dollars are spent wisely, in ways that most benefit Albertans. We will continue to work with Alberta Infrastructure to find areas of savings with this project, while ensuring patient care is not compromised.
At AHS, we are confident the changes in scope announced by Alberta Infrastructure can be made while ensuring patients get the care they need. That will continue to be our focus.
For example, the new facility will now have eight operating rooms. The facility will have two additional operating rooms shelled-in, which can be opened in the future to meet increased demand.
There will also be an operating room in the obstetrical suite specifically for caesarian sections.
Renovations at the existing Queen Elizabeth II Hospital will be put on hold for now. AHS will continue to deliver ambulatory care at the site and is working on a plan to see how ambulatory care can be expanded without renovations.
At the new hospital site, a decision has been made to simplify design of the building interiors and reduce the level of finishing. However, all building interiors will meet required standards.
The change in scope means that mental health acute beds will remain at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.
We acknowledge that this will create some challenges for patients and their families as well as clinicians, as all mental health programs will not be consolidated at one site as originally planned.
AHS will work with staff and patients to support them and to ensure the impacts are minimal, and we are confident that there is an adequate amount of space for the delivery of mental health services in the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital.
When the new hospital is complete, the residents of Grande Prairie and surrounding areas will have a modern hospital that will better meet the needs of the community now and in the future.
The new site will have more ICU spaces and allows for growth to the emergency department. It will have 172 beds - compared to 161 at the QEII - and capacity to add an additional 60 in the future.
It is important to note that the new hospital will also offer radiation therapy, part of a provincewide strategy to open a corridor of cancer care treatment, from Lethbridge to Grande Prairie.
The new facility will also have modern and updated clinical spaces and will be more efficient from a health care delivery perspective.