Alberta targets new children’s hospital
By Adam FreillConstruction Institutional
Provincial budget 2023 includes $3 million over three years to advance the planning for a new, stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital.
Alberta’s 2023 budget has earmarked $3 million over three years to assist with the planning for a new stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton – a project that the government say it is fully committed to building once planning is complete.
The Stollery is the second-largest children’s hospital in Canada by bed count, second only to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, but unlike most children’s hospitals in Canada, it is not a stand-alone building.
About 300,000 children go to the Stollery hospital each year, including nearly 55,000 emergency room visits and more than 12,000 surgeries. Almost 40 per cent of inpatients come from outside the Edmonton area.
“Every parent who has ever had to take a child to a children’s hospital knows how valuable facilities like the Stollery are,” stated Jason Copping, the province’s minister of health. “Children’s health care needs are unique, and a world-class, pediatric, stand-alone hospital for the Stollery will allow it to continue to be one of the leading children’s hospitals in the country.”
The pledged funding is in addition to a $1-million investment made in 2021, which was matched by the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. The foundation says it will also match this new round of funding to further speed up planning for the new children’s hospital.
“We are excited to continue to work with government toward the goal of building a new Stollery Children’s Hospital that is purpose-built for kids and their families, that puts mental and physical health under one roof, and that is set up to give future generations of Albertans the best chance at a long and healthy life,” said Mike House, president and CEO of Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The foundation’s director of strategic partnerships, Katherine Sweet, added, “A new purpose-built hospital would mean fewer trips to other facilities for appointments and more focus on the overall health of our kids. With all their needs serviced in one facility, medical practitioners have more opportunity to collaborate on the overall health, with a better understanding of their complex needs.”
The planning process will consider several needs and priorities facing the hospital, including increased capacity to serve Alberta’s growing population, larger clinical spaces, more private rooms, and spaces built especially for children and the families that support them during their time in the hospital.
“At Alberta Health Services, we’re continually working to improve the health care journey for patients and families. Exploring the potential of a new stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital is immensely exciting for us,” stated Mauro Chies, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services. “The Stollery serves an area far beyond Edmonton, with more than 300,000 patient visits each year. We’re grateful for the opportunity to continue to explore new options to deliver world-class pediatric health care well into the future.”