By Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Thousands of new continuing care beds will be added in facilities across Alberta over the next few years, with many going to rural areas of the province.

On Friday Alberta Minister of Health Tyler Shandro announced more than 6,000 continuing-care beds would be built across the province in the coming years, with 343 beds added this year in Calgary, Edmonton, High Level, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Valleyview, and Westlock. Some 2,600 beds were added in 26 communities in 2020.

Shandro announced the province will bring back a new version of the Affordable Supportive Living Initiative program, which will cost $400 million in operational funding.

The program will create new beds or upgrade existing spaces in publicly-funded facilities across the province.

“Taking innovative approaches to develop additional continuing-care capacity is critically important,” Shandro said. 

“Through this work, more Albertans will have access to high-quality continuing care, now and in the years ahead.”

Of the 6,000 beds being replaced, Shandro estimated that 2,200 of them will be new spaces, and 3,800 will be replacements.

This item is reprinted with permission from the St. Albert, AB, St. Albert Gazette. For the complete article, click HERE

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