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$200 million redevelopment begins in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. – A sod-turning for the redevelopment of the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital marks another important step towards improving health care for residents. The Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services (AHS) have broken ground on this project, which will renovate and expand the hospital to improve patient services and reduce wait times.

When complete, the $200-million redevelopment will expand available ambulatory care space (any medical care delivered on an outpatient basis where patients receive consultation, treatment and intervention on the same day). It will allow more space for the emergency department, surgical suite, maternal/child care, and include a rooftop helipad.

Expanding and/or redeveloping health facilities in communities across the province is among the goals outlined in the 5-Year Health Action Plan, jointly developed by the Government of Alberta and AHS, and supported by the province’s stable, 5-year funding.

Work started earlier this month to prepare the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital’s Dr. Dan MacCharles Auxiliary Hospital building for demolition. The building will be emptied by Oct. 1 and demolition will occur soon after. This will clear an area for the new expansion.

“This redevelopment project is gaining momentum and very soon residents are going to see an active construction site and builders working hard to expand this important hospital,” said Ray Danyluk, Minister of Infrastructure.

Rob Renner, Minister of Environment and MLA for Medicine Hat, said he’s pleased the hospital expansion is proceeding. “Medicine Hat is a growing, dynamic community. The hospital redevelopment will be planned with this in mind and, when complete, the new spaces and services will ensure Hatters and area residents can get the care they need in their community today and in the years to come,” said Renner.

The first building on the MHRH site was built in 1957 when the focus was primarily on acute care. With more care now being provided on an outpatient basis, MHRH has outgrown current ambulatory care space, which is housed in various locations throughout the facility.

The design and consultation process began in March and will continue until early 2012. The project will be brought on-stream in phases starting in 2013, with the completion and turnover to AHS expected in 2015.

Diamond and Schmitt/Gibbs Gage Architects were selected in March as the design firm for the project. In partnership with Alberta Infrastructure and Alberta Health Services, they are currently engaging staff, physicians and community leaders to update and finalize the functional program for the health services to be delivered at the site. The functional program will provide direction for the completion of the detailed design process.

The new expansion will help us better serve the residents of Medicine Hat and south-eastern Alberta,” said Ken Hughes, Chair, AHS Board. “It will increase ambulatory care space, which will provide more outpatient care on site. Improving access is an important aspect of these changes.”

The Medicine Hat Regional Hospital expansion will be approximately 19,000 square metres, on multiple floors. In addition various areas in the existing hospital will be renovated.

Alberta Infrastructure is using a construction management approach for the Medicine Hat redevelopment project. This is a team-based collaborative approach in which the construction manager works closely with the architects from an early phase in the project.

A construction management approach allows the project managers, clients, architects and the construction manager to strike an early partnership in the process, and to identify potential issues and challenges prior to construction proceeding too far. The construction manager will also oversee all sub-trade tenders, including mechanical and electrical.

Posted September 22, 2011