More surgeries closer to home in Rocky Mountain House

The project will build a new operating room to support the surgical program and upgrade the medical device reprocessing department, where reusable medical devices are cleaned and sterilized. The construction is also part of the Alberta Surgical Initiative, which aims to provide surgeries to all patients within wait times recommended by medical experts.

“We’re committed to building a stronger health system for all Albertans. Better, more modern health facilities across rural Alberta will ensure quality care into the future. Expanding this facility will mean more surgeries closer to home for residents in Rocky Mountain House and central Alberta.”Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

There is currently one operating room at the Rocky Mountain House hospital, where about 150 procedures are completed each month, including about 60 general and gynecological surgeries, 90 endoscopies, plus hernia repairs, carpal tunnel repairs and other minor procedures.

With the addition of a new dedicated operating room, the hospital will have capacity to perform 120 surgeries each month – or double the number now. The existing operating room will become a procedure room and will offer triple the number of endoscopies and minor procedures, or about 240 procedures each month.

The project will also include additional recovery rooms and patient support areas.

“Rural communities help make our province grow and thrive. The Rocky Mountain House Health Centre plays an important role in the well-being of this community and the surrounding area, and investments like this one will make sure that the facility can deliver safe, efficient surgical care for years to come.”Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks, and MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre

Enhancements to rural surgical programs in Alberta Health Services’ Central Zone are expected to reduce pressure on sites such as the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre and enable patients to be treated closer to home.

“This funding will have a direct impact on our ability to enhance the surgical program in Rocky Mountain House and in central Alberta. It is vital we keep our health-care infrastructure current and up to date, and projects like these help maintain our facilities and ensure our patients receive quality care in the best environments.”Dr. Verna Yiupresident and CEO, Alberta Health Services

Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a plan to breathe new life into Alberta’s economy and create new opportunities for every Albertan. It is a plan to build, to diversify and to create jobs. Through our 2021 Capital Plan, Alberta’s government is investing more than $20.7 billion over three years on critical, job-creating infrastructure projects.

Specifically, as part of Budget 2021, the Alberta Surgical Initiative provides $120 million over three years to build or renovate hospital spaces. This includes almost $8 million toward the new Rocky Mountain House operating room and the new medical device reprocessing area, plus another $1.75 million from Alberta Health Services to purchase equipment.

Due to the layout of the current facility, the medical device reprocessing and the operating room areas will be constructed in a stand-alone addition on the north side of the hospital property that will be connected to the facility by new hallways. This will provide needed space and help reduce service disruptions and impact to patient care and other site operations during construction.

The Rocky Mountain House and Area Health Services Foundation is launching a campaign to raise funds to support furnishing the new space with additional equipment and patient comfort items.

“We at the Rocky Mountain House and Area Health Services Foundation are very excited about this announcement. Our foundation strives to support initiatives that enhance the care and procedures patients receive at the health centre. We have been blessed with the generosity of our community members over the years and look forward to engaging with them in this initiative to increase care close to home.”Phyllis Loewen, chair, Rocky Mountain House and Area Health Services Foundation

Design work on the project is underway and is expected to be complete in early 2022. Once the design is approved, construction timelines will be finalized and shared with the community.

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