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New investments will improve access to health care

The Government is taking action to improve access to health care for Albertans.

These actions include creating more than 300 new restorative care beds in Edmonton and Calgary, expanding the role of paramedics, and expanding and renovating some of the busiest Emergency departments in Edmonton and Calgary.

“Our government has made it a priority to improve access to health care for Albertans, and we’re following through with key investments that complement the ongoing focus on adding continuing care beds.  We will make sure that Emergency care and other services are available when and where Albertans need them.”

Stephen Mandel, Minister of Health

Alberta Health Services (AHS) will open 311 new “restorative care” spaces – 186 in Calgary and 125 in Edmonton – designed to help seniors maintain and improve function after a stay in hospital and help more seniors return home. Construction will be funded through the province’s Alberta Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI), as part of a major provincewide increase in continuing care beds.

The Government of Alberta will also provide funding to AHS for renovations to increase capacity and improve care in Emergency rooms at Peter Lougheed Centre and South Health Campus in Calgary, and the Misericordia, Grey Nuns, and Royal Alexandra hospitals in Edmonton. The projects are expected to total around $50 million and extend over at least two years, depending on detailed planning.

In addition, paramedics’ scope of practice will increase this summer, with new regulations under the Health Professions Act. Paramedics will be able to provide more frontline care in clinics and regional hospitals, collaborate with non-physicians, such as nurse practitioners, and provide time-saving services such as administering portable lab analysis.

“Combined, these measures will improve our ability to care for Albertans when they most need our help. The addition of the new restorative care beds will have a direct impact on patients and help many return to their homes and to their families and avoid continuing care.”

Vickie Kaminski, President and CEO, Alberta Health Services

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