Edmonton

Province announces details of new Misericordia emergency department

A new $65-million emergency department for the aging Misericordia Community Hospital in west Edmonton will be three times as large as the one it replaces.

Construction on $65-million addition to aging Edmonton facility set to start spring 2019

The Misericordia Community Hospital will get a new $65-million emergency department to open by 2023. (CBC)

A new $65-million emergency department for the aging Misericordia Community Hospital in west Edmonton will be three times as large as the one it replaces.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman announced details of the building addition on Thursday with officials from Covenant Health, which operates the Misericordia.

"This project is going to change the experience of people who are coming here to the [emergency]," Hoffman told a news conference on the hospital grounds.

"At 5,000 square metres, the footprint will be about three times the size of the space that staff work in today," she said.

"They do amazing work but they are on top of each other. It definitely isn't the best work or care space for those patients."

The $65-million addition, shown in blue, will accommodate 60,000 patient visits per year. (CBC)

The new emergency department, first announced in the 2017 provincial budget, will be built on the west side of the hospital at 170th Street and 87th Avenue.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman and Covenant Health president Patrick Dumelie announce details of the new emergency department for Edmonton's Misericordia Community Hospital. (CBC)

It will have 66 treatment spaces, six ambulance bays and two X-ray suites.

The facility will be designed for 60,000 patient visits per year. The Misericordia's existing emergency department serves 51,000 visits per year in a space designed for 25,000.

Patrick Dumelie, president and CEO of Covenant Health, said the emergency department is "a key piece of the puzzle in helping people stay healthy and access care and support in the health system."

He said the Misericordia faces similar challenges to people as they age.

"The infrastructure challenges of this site are well known; there are no secrets here," he said.

"But when you work in a building that's aging it's all too easy to focus on the wrinkles or the odd leak or maybe even the creaky joints.

"It's not just an old tired building, it's a vibrant presence and an active member of our community. It's a vital part of the health system serving Edmonton and Alberta."

The design and floor plan of the new emergency department are scheduled to be complete within months. Site preparation and demolition are slated to begin before the end of 2018.

Construction work will begin next spring, with opening of the new addition set for the spring of 2023.

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