SOUTH EDMONTON HOSPITAL WILL BE ON ALBERTA NDP GOVERNMENT’S PRIORITY LIST
EDMONTON – Alberta’s NDP is committing to accelerating construction of the South Edmonton Hospital if possible after Danielle Smith and the UCP Government have failed to properly support the critical project for five-straight budgets.
“In my riding of Edmonton-Ellerslie, and across south Edmonton, we were hoping to see a signal that construction could start on the South Edmonton Hospital this year,” said Rod Loyola, Alberta NDP Infrastructure Critic and MLA for Edmonton-Ellerslie.
“But it’s clear from the Danielle Smith budget that there will be no shovels in the ground this year.”
The UCP government promised to spend $49 million in the last budget to finally get the South Edmonton Hospital project going; however, they allocated only $12 million. In Budget 2023, the UCP is planning on spending $34 million.
“Clearly, Danielle Smith and her UCP government are dragging their feet on getting this hospital built,” said Loyola. “Four years of the UCP – two premiers, two health ministers, three infrastructure ministers – and zero progress on the South Edmonton Hospital.
“I’m going to call out Kaycee Madu, the deputy premier and only UCP MLA in Edmonton, who promised this hospital and failed to deliver.
“A new hospital hasn’t been built in Edmonton since 1988. That was the Grey Nuns and it’s full.”
Loyola said what he is hearing from people on the doorstep is that “the chaos in our healthcare and the fear of not being able to get care when they need it is top of mind for many families in my riding and across Edmonton.”
In 2017, the Alberta NDP government announced that South Edmonton would be home to a new state-of-the-art hospital which would play a crucial role in expanding critical care services, community care and much-needed bed capacity for the Edmonton region.
The South Edmonton hospital was scheduled to be opened by 2026/27, adding an additional 491 beds to the Edmonton region.
AHS data shows that Edmonton is falling badly behind in bed numbers and that is only going to get worse in the coming years.
“Danielle Smith’s budget means families are going to have to travel further and wait longer to get the hospital care they need,” said Loyola.
“But the good news is that in only a few weeks, we can elect an Alberta NDP government that will restart this project and get Edmonton families the care they need, close to home.”
UCP Press Statement
“If passed, Budget 2023 will provide more support for our health care system on areas that would let us achieve even more success moving forward.
“Budget 2023 is providing $634 million over the next three years for the Edmonton Hospital project, which is the single largest line item in this year’s capital plan for health.
“That is in addition to the $52 million that’s been spent so far on site preparation. That work continues with pipeline integrity testing, survey work, and utility installation of water, sewer, natural gas, and electricity.
“More planning work is evolving on the project after many of the needed Alberta Health staff were reassigned over the past two years while COVID-19 was occupying much of their attention.
“The NDP did a disservice to the public when in 2017 it announced the hospital without a business case being completed and an insufficient $400 million in the capital plan of the day.”