“It’s a win-win-win for Edmonton and everyone in the province who relies on these facilities. Our city continues to grow and we need more space, period.” Still, some of the funding decisions will undoubtedly come as a disappointment to advocates who have been campaigning for more complete overhauls of the aging Royal Alex and Misericordia. The approved projects do not address the major complaint of aging and unreliable infrastructure in the hospitals’ patient wards, which often cram four or five people into a room. As well, the budget has set aside just $20 million for a new medical testing lab in the city, a project that has been pegged at $325 million. Read our full coverage of Alberta Budget 2017 AHS CEO Verna Yiu acknowledged Edmonton’s long list of infrastructure needs, but called approval of the new projects an exciting event that should allow the health authority to offer better patient experiences and outcomes. “We are cognizant of the budgetary challenges the province is facing, so any investment we get, I have to say I’m grateful,” she said. As for the new hospital, the government will get the project going with an investment of $400 million to be rolled out between 2018 and 2020, though the facility will end up costing considerably more and take several years to build.  Further details will come soon, Hoffman said. While the city has received additions to existing hospitals in recent years, it has not seen an entirely new hospital constructed since 1988 when the Grey Nuns was completed. One potential site for the new hospital is a parcel of Crown land at 127 Street and Anthony Henday Drive, which had been considered a potential location for rebuilding the Misercordia. The aging west end hospital will not get rebuilt at this point, but instead will have to make do with a “modernization,” that will involve a major expansion of its emergency department. The budget has set aside $65 million over the next four years for that project.

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