Total government investment towards the completion of the Brain Centre project is $81 million, with the University Hospital Foundation contributing $17 million toward the new ICU and in-patient beds.

The funding will go towards the construction of new up-to-date clinical space for the neuro ICU, replacing the current ICU that is almost 40 years old. In addition, capacity will increase from 11 to 24 spaces. This project also includes moving 18 in-patient beds into new space designed to allow for enhanced infection prevention and control.

“The University of Alberta Hospital’s Brain Centre neurosciences intensive care unit has been delivering world-class care to Western Canada for 40 years. This $81-million taxpayer investment will double its capacity and ensure that this state-of-the-art facility will be able to continue to care for Albertans for generations to come. It is a part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, ensuring our province has the infrastructure it needs both today and for the future.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“This funding brings the province a step closer to providing a new and expanded world-class neuro ICU unit to give patients with life-threatening conditions such as strokes, head injuries and tumours the best chance for treatment and recovery. The renovations at the U of A Brain Centre are a continuation of our commitment to expand capacity throughout our health-care system and adapt to new and emerging technologies and innovative care models.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Health

“Budget 2022 is moving Alberta forward by focusing on strengthening and increasing capacity in our health-care and continuing care systems and keeping Albertans working. We estimate that this project will support approximately 550 well-paying construction and construction-related jobs.”

Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure

“The neurosciences ICU program at the University of Alberta Hospital provides the highest level of neurological care for patients in the Edmonton Zone and beyond. These additional ICU beds will allow us to increase capacity and make a difference in the lives of patients and families as we meet the health-care needs of our growing province. We are grateful for the support of our government and the University of Alberta Hospital Foundation to make this happen.”

Mauro Chies, interim president and CEO, Alberta Health Services

“The University Hospital Foundation commends the Government of Alberta for its vision of better brain care for Albertans with the approval of funding for a new neurosciences intensive care unit at the University of Alberta Hospital. The addition of this critical missing piece to the Brain Centre would not have been possible without the support of the government and the thousands of donors to the Brain Centre Campaign. On behalf of the University Hospital Foundation, thank you.”

Jodi Abbott, president and CEO, University Hospital Foundation.

“The Biggs and Allen Neurosciences ICU at the University of Alberta Hospital is one of only two dedicated neurocritical care units in Canada, providing care to more than 900 patients per year. Our team provides world-class care in a unit that isn’t able to grow with us due to space limitations. As technology advances and our population grows, we look forward to being able to provide cutting-edge care to our patients with complex neurological and neurosurgical disorders in a quieter, more private setting that can better accommodate families as they provide essential support for their loved one’s healing.”

Dr. Dennis Djogovic, medical director, University of Alberta Hospital neurosciences ICU

Construction is expected to take five years.  

The 2022 Capital Plan is continuing to build health-care capacity through new and existing health-care projects. Alberta’s government is committed to continued investment in the health infrastructure required to sustain the health system over the long term. Budget 2022 also provides more than $22 billion in Health’s operating budget, a $600-million increase from Budget 2021, and supports priority work to expand the capacity of the health system across Alberta.

Quick facts

  • The current neuro ICU is one of only two dedicated neuro ICUs in the country, and the only one in Western Canada.
  • About 12 per cent of patient hospital admissions at the University of Alberta Hospital are brain-related. The University of Alberta Hospital is the only comprehensive stroke centre in the Edmonton Zone.
  • The neuro ICU program operates at 102 per cent capacity and the neuro ICU serves as a referral centre for Edmonton and northern Alberta, northeastern British Columbia and the Northwest Territories.