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Grande Prairie among northern cities to receive lab equipment funding

Grande Prairie is among nearly a dozen municipalities across Alberta to receive part of $15 million in provincial funding to help upgrade laboratory equipment.

The money should help pay for essential pieces of equipment such as centrifuges, microscopes, and analyzers. Health Minister Tyler Shandro believes it will ensure people across northern Alberta will continue to have access to state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services.

Shandro says every year, around 2.3 million Albertans get upwards of 75 million lab tests.

“Modern technology and equipment is key to helping medical laboratory technologists, other medical staff, and physicians diagnose and treat Albertans,” he says.

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Shandro adds, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, laboratories across the province present a prime example of the vital work those in the industry complete.

“Here in Alberta, our labs have performed as well as any in the world, making us a leader in testing per capita, and innovation. They’ve made it possible for any Albertan to be tested for COVID-19, whether or not they have any symptoms… our success as a province in limiting the spread is in no small part to our labs and laboratory technologists.

The funding is in addition to the $2.1 billion already earmarked to Alberta Health Services as part of the 2020-2021 budget. The $15 million will be split up into two years, with $9 million to be provided in the current budget year, and $6 million in the fiscal year 2021-2022.

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