More local surgeries will be possible once the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital opens, health minister Tyler Shandro said Monday afternoon in Grande Prairie.
Two additional operating rooms have been added to the hospital and are scheduled to be to be completed by the end of the month. Shandro conceded that many people are wondering when the hospital would finally be open and accepting patients at a media event in one of the GPRH operating rooms.
“I have it on good authority this hospital will open before the end of the year,” said Shandro.
GPRH will have 11 operating rooms -- five more than in the QEII hospital, he said.
“When all of the ORs are open and operating, the hospital will perform 14,000 to 15,000 surgeries every year, and that's up from 11,000 surgeries that are offered each year in the QEII,” said Shandro.
“These two additional OR theatres will continue to focus on the surgeries with the longest waits, including hips and knees,” said Stacey Greening, Alberta Health Services senior operating officer for Grande Prairie.
“As a result, more patients will be able to receive the care they need closer to home with their family and their support systems nearby,” she said.
“When the new GPRH opens, residents will experience one of the most technologically advanced facilities in the province,” said Shandro.
The project comes at a cost $20 million with funds coming from the $120 million Alberta Surgical Initiative that looks to build new and to expand ORs in the province, he said.
Shandro said that staffing for the new hospital is part of the current ongoing commissioning of the hospital.
As for future projects, like the Beaverlodge Health Complex, Shandro said that steps are being put in place to stay on budget and schedule for future builds.
“Some of those steps sometimes frustrate local communities … but there are steps in place to make sure that stuff is done on time and budget,” said Shandro.
The province handed the keys to the hospital to the Alberta Health Service about a year ago, and they have been commissioning the hospital ever since.
The commissioning includes detailed cleaning, installation of furniture and equipment, training staff, and the testing of all the systems.
Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News