Red Deer Reality Rant #49 - RDRHC Expansion Project
Hello there fellow Red Deerians. I hope you all had a great weekend. Today marks the Spring Equinox happening at 10:24 am this morning, our time, the first day of spring. In Canada, however the snow likely won’t be gone for another month, but we can dream. In any case Spring is a time for renewal and new beginnings. Red Deer is no exception, today I will speak to an issue affecting Red Deer greatly over the past decade, with the provincial government offering promises for a solution since Jason Kenney announced in 2019 a 1.8 billion dollar expansion of Red Deer Regional Hospital.
It is now 2023, and Red Deer’s hospital is still in dire straits. rdnewsnow.com has a couple of articles on the subject, but mostly the media has been quiet about this problem. A local Red Deer group has been calling for advocacy and a transition plan for Red Deerians in regards to the issue of the Red Deer Regional Hospital expansion. Known as the Society for Hospital Expansion in Central Alberta (SHECA) they strive for transparency on the expansion process by our government, and rightly so.
Red Deer Regional Hospital is severely understaffed. The people who work there are amazing for all they do and have to put up with but many have left for better conditions and better pay in Edmonton and Calgary. It used to be well known that Red Deer hospital was a great place to work and had some of the best in the business. Now wait times in emergency department are very long and there’s not enough nurses for surgical units so operating rooms have been empty despite waiting lists for surgery being backed up.
Red Deer Regional Hospital
It’s a no brainer that Red Deer’s hospital needs and deserves an expansion, hopefully the funding will include incentives for people to work there and the recruitment of more medical professionals will be imminent. A lot of professionals shy away from Red Deer due to an infamous reputation that is often rumoured and overstated in the media. If Red Deer had the capacity to treat people who most see as a problem, there would be less problems and a happier community.
If you hang around the hospital area, you will see what I mean. These people need treatment, and it is not available to them when our hospital and health care facilities are over capacity. 1.8 billion dollars will do great things for Red Deer’s hospital, as long as funds are managed properly and the government is transparent with their dealings. Groups like SHECA are working to help that happen, and deserve support from our community.
The changes are projected for completion in 2031 or 2032. Provincial infrastructure states that this project will take a long time to complete but they are set to start the design process soon, they stated it will start in Spring. Well Spring is here, it’s the first day today, so we will see if there’s action in the coming months in regards to the hospital expansion plan. Until then, we will have to grin and bear the shortages and long wait times, and hope for a bright future for Red Deer.
If you are curious about the group Society for Hospital Expansion in Central Alberta, here is a link to a more detailed article on rdnewsnow here
Until next week, stay brutal and stay tuned for another Red Deer Reality Rant!