As part of Alberta’s 2016 budget, the province is allocating an extra 16 per cent to maintaining and renewing healthcare facilities.
The province’s 2016 capital plan includes $759.5 million for maintenance and renewal of healthcare facilities over the next five years, as part of Alberta’s Infrastructure Maintenance Program. This figure is about $107 million, or 16 per cent, higher than 2015’s capital plan.
“We won’t repeat the mistakes of past governments that allowed our health infrastructure deficit to grow unchecked,” said Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health, in a press release. “While it’s not flashy, funding health facility maintenance and renewal is crucial to helping to create safe environments for patients, their families and the health workers who take care of them. In this tough economy, these projects also help create and sustain good jobs for Albertans.”
During the 2016-17 fiscal year, the Alberta government will provide $131 million towards more than 520 healthcare facility maintenance and renewal projects across the province, with funding increasing over each of the next four years: in 2017-18, $143.5 million will be provided; in 2018-19, $146 million; in 2019-20, $154 million; and in 2020-21, $185 million.
“For far too long, not enough emphasis has been placed on ensuring that our health facilities are properly maintained,” said Brian Mason, Minister of Infrastructure. “Budget 2016 changes that with a significant investment over the next five years to address the backlog in deferred maintenance and to ensure that Alberta’s health facilities continue to provide a safe, high quality care environment for patients, staff and visitors.”
Funding from the Infrastructure Maintenance Program will be used to improve the physical condition of health facilities and reduce deferred maintenance in these facilities across the province. Funding from the program will be used by Alberta Health Services on identified priority projects.
Last year, Alberta Health Services spent $87 million on the maintenance and renewal of 458 healthcare facilities.