The Town of Beaverlodge is desperately in need of a new hospital, and it’s hoped that a new joint task force will get the wheels in motion. Announced by the province this morning, the group will build on work already done by the community to create an action plan by the end of September. Mayor Leona Hanson says their ultimate goal is to replace their hospital.
“It’s the oldest in Alberta and it’s definitely well beyond its years; it’s served the community well and will for the next couple of years and hopefully we can see a new facility in the very near future that will take the pressure off, on the infrastructure level anyway.
The more than $2.5 million in renovations planned for the current Beaverlodge Municipal Hospital area going ahead as planned. They too are considered long overdue, as they address flood damage done in January 2013. Also included is a roof replacement, and the installation of a nurse call system, fire alarms, and a security system.
The task force will be spending the next six and a half weeks reviewing and updating a report on Beaverlodge’s health needs done in 2013. Hanson says she’s thankful it will be building on years of consultation already done.
“There was a lot of work that was done in the planning before and we’re happy that that work is going to be brought forward to this task force to put together a plan by September 30th, which is great news so that’s not lost effort; it is coming back.”
Everyone from health care professionals to community leaders in the region have contributed so far.
When the former PC government revealed its spring budget in 2015, $2 million was earmarked for the planning of the local health complex. However, once elected, the NDP said they would be reviewing it and previous decisions.