A generous contribution from the Calgary Health Foundation is also expanding the gastrointestinal clinic so more patients have access to endoscopies, including non-surgical procedures such as colonoscopies, to explore and treat patients’ digestive tracts.

“This important project at the Rockyview hospital is part of Budget 2021’s historic investment in health care. This and other new health-care projects will mean world-class care, when and where Albertans need it.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“This is great news for patients and families in the Calgary area who will be able to rely on high-quality care at Rockyview hospital through expanded access to intensive and coronary care, as well as the gastrointestinal clinic. Capital investments from Budget 2021 will support a modern space that will serve Calgary and southern Alberta well into the future.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“The Rockyview is an important piece of Calgary’s health infrastructure, and this expansion of services will create 410 jobs throughout its planning, design and construction. Alberta’s government is making substantial investments in health infrastructure in Budget 2021 as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan.”

Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure

The current intensive care unit at Rockyview admits about 275 patients each year, and the coronary care unit admits close to 540 patients, providing care to those with acute heart issues, including those recovering from coronary bypass surgeries or severe heart attacks. The current combined units experience overcapacity challenges roughly one-quarter of the year, ranging as high as 130 per cent at peak periods.

The new project will move the units to a joint space with 25 beds in single-patient rooms, up from the current 17 beds. The new space will include support services and a consolidated respiratory therapy service.

“Decreasing wait times, improving patient outcomes and increasing capacity are key priorities for Alberta Health Services. Thanks to this significant investment from the Government of Alberta and the Calgary Health Foundation, patients and families will benefit from enhanced intensive care and cardiac care, and expanded access to GI diagnostic procedures. We are very excited to move forward with these important capital projects at one of Calgary’s busiest adult acute care sites.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, Alberta Health Services

The project will also double the size of the hospital’s gastrointestinal clinic and increase the number of endoscopy suites to six from the current four. This will mean about 4,000 more endoscopies can be performed each year, improving access to diagnostic and treatment procedures for gastrointestinal concerns in the colon, stomach, esophagus or anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract.

“Expanding and enhancing the oversubscribed Rockyview hospital endoscopy clinic is critical to meeting growing patient needs for the timely diagnosis and treatment of prevalent digestive disorders.”

Mike Meldrum, president and CEO, Calgary Health Foundation

“As someone living with a chronic bowel disease, the expansion at Rockyview General Hospital will be an important step in enhancing care for thousands of Albertans who suffer from bowel disease and rely on quick access to GI services to get a proper diagnosis, treatment options and care. I’m hopeful that this announcement will allow patients like me to have less worries about when or if we’ll receive care, so we can focus more on our future, and living our lives as normally as possible.”

Krista Deveau, Calgary resident living with gastrointestinal conditions

With Alberta’s aging population, increased complexity of patients including those with Crohn’s or inflammatory bowel disease, increased screening protocols, bariatric patients and demand for gastrointestinal procedures, Rockyview’s gastrointestinal clinic expects to experience a 36 per cent increase in its workload by 2030.

Project planning is well underway, with construction dates still to be determined. The entire project is expected to take up to six years to complete, since all the work is being done while the hospital remains open to Albertans.

Budget 2021 protects lives and livelihoods with a historic investment in health care while laying the foundation for economic growth. Through the prudent management of tax dollars, Alberta’s government can continue to invest in priority areas to ensure Alberta emerges from COVID-19 stronger than ever.

Quick facts

  • Budget 2021 provides a three-year $3.4-billion commitment for health-related capital projects and programs, including:
    • $2.2 billion for health infrastructure projects, including $143 million for five new projects.
      • Rockyview ICU, CCU and gastrointestinal unit
      • Expansion of the neonatal intensive care unit at Calgary’s Foothills hospital
      • New cyclotron and radiopharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Calgary
      • New maternity and community health centre in La Crete in northern Alberta
      • Demolition of the old High Prairie Health Complex
    • $766 million for Alberta Health Services self-financed capital for parkades, equipment and other capital requirements.
    • $343 million for capital maintenance and renewal of existing facilities.
    • $90 million for health department IT projects.