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$6M now committed for planning new Stollery hospital, but still no timeline or location

Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping takes questions from journalists at the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton on March 23, 2023. (Galen McDougall/CTV News Edmonton) Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping takes questions from journalists at the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton on March 23, 2023. (Galen McDougall/CTV News Edmonton)

The Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation is putting $3 million into the pot for planning a new stand alone facility in Edmonton, matching what Alberta recently promised.

Budget 2023 includes $3 million over the next three years to make a plan to move the children's hospital out of the University of Alberta Hospital and into a new building.

The government has completed a needs assessment and will spend the money researching a final cost, location and construction timeline.

"I want the hospital built yesterday," said Deputy Premier Kaycee Madu at a news conference on Thursday. He is also the MLA for Edmonton-South West.

"My hope is that we're completing the planning before the end of the year so that we can have the building dollars right in next year's budget. So, I'm really looking forward to completing this work. I have been advocating for this hospital since I got elected in 2019."

Right now, the Stollery's services are spread out across 11 buildings in Edmonton.

About 300,000 children go to the Stollery every year and more than 40 per cent of them travel from outside of the city.

"The needs assessment study that was conducted in 2021 clearly confirmed, without a doubt, that northern Albertans need a new children's hospital," said Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation President and CEO Mike House.

"One that is designed for kids and their families. Not one where kids are squeezed into an existing adult-purposed hospital."

Erica Thomas, whose son Benjamin received care at the Stollery for more than 40 nights, agreed with House that kids deserve their own space.

"A new purpose-built hospital would mean more time and space for my kid to be a kid. Where playrooms aren't turned into patient rooms, where they aren't exposed to adult issues and trauma and where there is always space in our home ward," she said.

"Too often, our son would spend over 24 hours in the emergency room waiting for a bed in oncology to open up. Only then to be moved to a ward that we were unfamiliar with."


The Edmonton area currently has a deficit of hundreds of hospital beds and that number is expected to balloon to roughly 1,500 in the next few years, according to internal documents obtained last month by CTV News Edmonton.

The province also committed $634 million to a previously announced South Edmonton Hospital project in its three-year capital budget released on Feb. 28, but no timelines or final budget is available for that either.

The Opposition NDP has accused the UCP government of dragging its feet on hospital projects and pledged to "urgently" build the South Edmonton Hospital if elected in May.

Health Minister Jason Copping said Thursday that hospital planning is a "multi-year process."

"We need to make sure we are building the right thing at the right location," he told CTV News Edmonton when asked why the projects aren't being built now.

"We know that we need to expand our health-care infrastructure across the province…But we need to do it in a way that is thoughtful, planned out and actually will serve the needs not only today but for years to come."

The existing Stollery space in the U of A Hospital will likely be repurposed for adult beds and specialty services, but those decisions have not been finalized, said Mauro Chies, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services. Top Stories

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