OLDS - The Olds and Didsbury hospitals will each be receiving new provincial funding for renovations as part of $50 million earmarked for modernization and improvements at rural health facilities over the next three years, announced officials today (March 17).
The Didsbury hospital will receive $4.2 million for the renovation of the facility’s mental health and public health space and to consolidate rehabilitation medicine to one location.
The Olds Hospital and Care Centre will receive $1 million to upgrade the medical device reprocessing area, including cart washers and washer disinfector.
Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA Nathan Cooper says while the current facilities are not deficient, the expansions and renovations are welcome.
The Olds project should be completed in 2021, he said
“It is going to significantly increases the capacity of surgeries that can be completed at the Olds hospital,” he said. "I'm very excited about this. It doesn’t impact the existing infrastructure in terms of size, but it significantly improves our ability to meet the health needs of those in central Alberta.”
The Didsbury project should be completed within the next three years, he said.
“It is expanding the (Didsbury) mental health spaces and making the most of the space that is current available,” says Cooper.
The Olds and Didsbury hospitals were among those identified by Alberta Health Services as having priority projects in the province’s five health zones.
“It’s important that your health-care needs can be met as close to home as possible (and) these renovations make that a reality,” Dr. Verna Yiu, president and chief executive officer of Alberta Health Services , said in a news release.
“The funding will have a direct impact on Albertans in these communities and allow AHS to provide better patient care in these facilities.”
Premier Jason Kenney said in the same news release: “Alberta’s government is committed to spending $50 million over three years to address often neglected rural health care needs and facilities.”
No new funding for the Myron Thompson Health Centre hospital in Sundre or for the hospital in Innisfail was announced.