Budget 2022 also earmarks $204 million in capital funding over three years to modernize existing continuing care facilities across the province and develop new continuing care spaces for Indigenous Peoples and in priority communities.
In addition, 1,515 new continuing care spaces will open across Alberta in 2022-23, with details to follow in the coming months. Many of these new spaces are pursuant to a no-capital request for expression of interest and qualifications process managed by AHS.
“These investments into Alberta’s continuing care system will ensure seniors receive high-quality health-care services when and where they need them. A key part of our recovery plan is focused on strengthening Alberta’s health system, which includes continuing care.”
“This funding boost will contribute to Albertans’ health and well-being, their independence and quality of life, whether they receive care and services through home and community care or in continuing care homes. I am also committed to working with our health system partners to modernize and develop continuing care spaces using the new capital funding.”
“Building and modernizing critical centres creates thousands of good jobs for Albertans and invests in public infrastructure that will support people for years to come.”
“More housing for seniors that offer specialized health care is vital. This will be reassuring for many Alberta families, knowing their loved ones will have a safe and comfortable place to live where they will receive high-quality care.”
“This additional funding will enable us to enhance our commitment to modernize facilities for aging Albertans in high-priority areas. Providing care closer to home so that continuing care clients can remain connected to their communities and their loved ones improves the quality of life and overall well-being for continuing care residents and that continues to be our priority. This additional funding also ensures that we can free up space within acute care, easing capacity strain on the system overall.”
“This announcement is welcome news in the continuing care sector, especially after the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This commitment to fund new infrastructure will support important programs and services that will improve access to continuing care services and sustain care for Albertans now and into the future.”
“These capital investments in continuing care will go a long way to building new capacity in the province, provide much-needed upgrades to older assets, and ensure a better quality of life and care for Alberta seniors and persons with disabilities in communities right across the province.”
Strengthening the continuing care system
The government is providing almost $3.7 billion in operating funds across the continuing care system for professional health care and support services provided in the following settings:
- $1.7 billion for community care, an increase of $122 million or 7.6 per cent from 2021-22
- $1.2 billion for continuing care, an increase of $16 million or 1.3 per cent from 2021-22
- $750 million for home care, an increase of $81 million or 12.1 per cent from 2021-22
To meet the rising needs of an aging population, the government is investing capital funding to modernize and increase continuing care capacity across the province. This includes:
- $204 million over three years to modernize existing continuing care facilities and create additional continuing care spaces in Alberta, primarily through the Continuing Care Capital Program. Grant calls will follow later this year.
- $91 million over three years to complete the Bridgeland-Riverside Continuing Care Centre in Calgary that will accommodate about 200 residents and deliver day programs and services for Calgary-area seniors. Construction of the new centre will finish in late 2023 or early 2024.
- $142 million over two years for the Gene Zwozdesky Centre in Edmonton will add 145 new spaces and renovate 205 existing spaces to accommodate 350 continuing care residents with complex needs. Construction of the main building is anticipated to be complete in late 2022, with renovation of the Angus McGugan building to follow.
One of the government’s priorities is to transform the province’s continuing care system to be more responsive to the needs of Albertans now and in the future. Government announced recommendations from the Facility-Based Continuing Care review in spring 2021. These initiatives will be implemented in the months and years ahead. New streamlined continuing care legislation is anticipated this spring.