via Journal of Commerce

CALGARY, ALTA. – Approximately $2 million in funding has been secured for a dedicated children’s hospital in Alberta.

The province announced that Budget 2021 provides up to $1 million to launch capital planning for a potentially larger, dedicated children’s hospital and care space for children and families from the Edmonton area, northern and central Alberta, as well as children from across Western Canada.

A matching $1 million from the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation will help develop the needs assessment, capital cost estimate and business case.

“This project is part of Budget 2021’s historic investment in health care to build smart health infrastructure based on the needs of Albertans and families,” said Tyler Shandro, minister of health, in a statement. “I look forward to seeing how a new standalone hospital in Edmonton and northern Alberta would offer children the best, most modern health care possible, now and into the future.”

Initial work includes developing a needs assessment. Alberta Health Services will review what services the Stollery currently provides and if there are any gaps in services or care. It will also explore options for construction sites around the University of Alberta Hospital and the Walter C. Mackenzie Health Sciences site.

Once the needs assessment is complete, Alberta Infrastructure will hire a consultant to begin developing a business case for the project, which will include how many beds are needed and what other services and programs should be included. A high-level cost estimate will also be completed.

The current Stollery Children’s Hospital was built in 2001, with the majority of services and beds located within the University of Alberta Hospital and the Walter C. Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre in Edmonton. More than 40 per cent of children treated at the Stollery are from outside the Edmonton area, with patients coming from northern British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Yukon and Northwest Territories.