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Northern Lights Health Centre heliport will be delayed

November 27, 2015

FORT McMURRAY – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is committed to building a heliport at Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.

AHS is working to ensure the new heliport proceed as effectively and efficiently as possible, while ensuring patient, staff and worker safety.

AHS will now coordinate the heliport construction with planned renovations to the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre led by Alberta Infrastructure. This will mean a delay to the heliport project, which is now anticipated to be completed in 2017.

AHS acknowledges the frustration this could cause to residents of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo, and to our local physicians and staff.

“We are confident this is the best way to move forward with this project,” said David Matear, Senior Operating Director.

“We will do all we can to ensure this delay does not impact patient care, which is always our utmost priority.”

In order to ensure there are no gaps in patient care, air ambulance services in Fort McMurray will continue to operate out of the Fort McMurray International Airport until the new heliport is complete, and patients will be transported by ambulance from the airport to the hospital.

This is common practice elsewhere in the province for hospitals or healthcare centres without heliports and it has not compromised patient care.

By coordinating work between the two projects, AHS will be able to minimize costs and complete work required to accommodate the new heliport. Coordination of construction work on the site will also improve worker safety. The site improvement work is being led by Alberta Infrastructure.

The site improvement will extend the lifespan of the facility by replacing windows, the roof, metal panels, and the exterior stucco.

Exact timelines for the heliport project are being revised and will be shared when details have been finalised.

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For media inquiries, contact:
Kirsten Goruk
AHS Communications
780-830-3537