October 14, 2015
Diminishing returns and skyrocketing costs for Royal Alex hospital
With the announcement of a $4.5 billion overhaul of the Royal Alexandra Hospital (RAH), Wildrose is urging Alberta Health Services (AHS) to not turn the project of unprecedented cost into a sinkhole of expenses for the province, all while building only 381 new beds, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
“This infrastructure project positions the RAH to be the most expensive hospital in the world, within the most bloated and expensive healthcare system in Canada,” Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Drew Barnes said. “At an estimated cost of $12 million per new bed, AHS needs to reevaluate, and focus their efforts on more money going directly to patient care instead of capital costs.”
Prior to the announcement of the $4.5 billion price tag for the RAH campus, the most expensive hospital build in Alberta’s history was the South Health Campus in Calgary, with a cost of $1.3 billion. With this valuation, three state of the art hospitals could be built for the same price as the RAH rebuild.
“AHS owes it to taxpayers to release the costing of this proposal. We don’t need hospital costs skyrocketing past what it took to build Burj Khalifa, and the previous winner of the most expensive hospital in the world, the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia,” Barnes said. “This will crowd out almost every other project on the health capital planning list.”
The AHS has undelivered and underperformed for years, and are now seizing on the opportunity of a new government to ask for a blank cheque.
Wildrose will continue to push for health care projects within the province to have a strong focus on community and preventative care.