A recent report shared by Alberta Health Services has confirmed what our foundation has been advocating for over the past 16 years.
Designed in the 1950s and opened in 1962, the four-bed and five-bed mixed-gender patient care rooms compromise patient privacy, safety and patient dignity. The long-neglected infrastructure problems at the Royal Alexandra Hospital's Active Treatment Centre (main hospital tower) are contributing to infection rates and making patients sicker.
In the past months there has been significant media coverage about the infrastructure needs of both the Misericordia Hospital and the Royal Alexandra.
In an interview with the Edmonton Journal1 the question was asked "why the health authority is now recommending the Misericordia be scaled back." The response from Alberta Health Services leadership was that the size of the problems at the Royal Alex makes it a bigger priority. Recognition was made that both hospitals have numerous deficiencies, but that the main treatment areas at the Royal Alex (1962) are older than the Misericordia (1969). It was also shared that the inner-city hospital is arguably more vital, as it contains considerably more beds and serves as one of the main surgery hubs in the province.
In response to the release the Edmonton Journal Editorial Board also weighed in: “There is little argument about the Royal Alex’s place at the top of the triage list. There is a pressing need to replace its overcrowded core, despite the $2 billion price tag that comes with the initial phases of the project. The hospital is one of northern Alberta’s key medical hubs. Statistics from 2015 showed the facility handled about 13 per cent of all ICU cases in Alberta, 13 per cent of all surgeries and 11 per cent of all births. That is a lot of traffic in a province of more than four million people.”2
This statement by the Edmonton Journal Editorial Board was reinforced again by Alberta Health Services leadership in an interview with the CBC3 where it was explained that the Royal Alex's size alone is reason enough to prioritize renovations for the Alex, ahead of work at the Misericordia.
We are extremely pleased to see the Royal Alexandra Hospital shared publicly as the number one health infrastructure priority in the province. We hope to hear confirmation soon from the Government of Alberta that they are ready to move forward with the phased in approach of the Royal Alex rebuild.
Andrew Otway, Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation President and CEO
For full media coverage please read more on the links below.