UPDATE: On Nov. 20, officials with Covenant Health held a news conference and said the new emergency department at the Misericordia Hospital in Edmonton will open at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023.
After three years of construction, the new, larger emergency department at the Misericordia Community Hospital will officially open to patients later this month, promising to triple patient capacity, according to Alberta Health Services.
But at least one health-care advocate questions whether the facility by itself is enough to make an impact on patient care.
“It really depends on what that expanded capacity looks like,” said Lorian Hardcastle, an associate professor in the faculty of law at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary.
“We can open more beds and it’s easy to open more beds, but what can be harder are the staffing challenges associated with that.”
“We know that Alberta, the province, the country in general, is struggling with health-care worker staffing, so it will be interesting to see how easily they will be able to staff that new space,” Hardcastle said.
“We competing with other jurisdictions for health-care workers and I think it’s a challenging time for Alberta to try to recruit, given some of the significant restructuring that is going on right now.”
Misericordia Community Hospital prepares to open new emergency department
The $85-million project is expected to accommodate about 60,000 patient visits per year.
The 5,500-square-metre facility is three times the size of the existing department and includes six ambulance bays, 64 treatment rooms, two radiology rooms, five isolation rooms, 18 acute care spaces