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Health Minister tours Grande Prairie

Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman took a tour of health care facilities in Grande Prairie yesterday, her first trip to the city since being elected. The minister, the two local MLA’s for the Grande Prairie region, and Mayor Bill Given had a tour of the Points West Seniors facility and did a drive by of the regional hospital.

“It looks like it is going to be a beautiful facility, it was really neat to see. I’ve read all the reports and seen the blueprints but to actually see the architecture and how it is going to flow with the college and to hear about the educational components that are going to be a part of the health facility as well I think is really good news for the community.”

She says she has heard the rumors that there may be delays to the construction of the regional hospital, but that’s exactly what they are, rumors.

However, the Minister was not able to provide any clarity on the future of a new health care facility for Beaverlodge. She says plans for new hospitals and health care facilities will become more clear when the province’s multi-year plan to build roads, schools, and hospitals is announced this fall.

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“We really want to make sure that the health care needs of everyone in Alberta- doesn’t matter where you live- that you’re seeing professional in the right place, receiving the right care, and at the right investment for Albertans. In terms of definitive answers about what’s going to be on the ‘Sunshine List’, I can’t say today, but there will be that clarity coming forward.”

Grande Prairie-Wapiti MLA Wayne Drysdale says unfortunately there was not quite enough time for a trip out to Beaverlodge.

“Of course I was glad she came up and offered to meet with me because it was another opportunity to talk to her about the Beaverlodge hospital. She’s well aware of the issue. I was hoping to actually get her out there but at least she was willing to talk about it and I think she knows what the concerns are.”

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