Former Alberta premier Don Getty is in hospital receiving treatment for a heart condition. 

Getty, who was premier from 1985 to 1992, was taken to hospital by ambulance on Saturday because he was coughing and having breathing problems, his wife Margaret said.

"It started last Tuesday with a cold, went to bronchitis and went to heart failure within four days," she said.

Margaret Getty says her husband’s condition is improving but she is frustrated that she can’t visit him.

"The cold that he started with last week I woke up with it Sunday morning so I've been told to stay away from the hospital."

Premier Alison Redford tweeted a message on Wednesday wishing Getty a speedy recovery.  

The former premier is expected to return home by the end of the week

Getty, 79, has been admitted to hospital three times in the past year for health problems.