The patient transfer from the Queen Elizabeth II hospital to the new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital took place in Grande Prairie, Alta. on Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021. The move started at 6 a.m. and involved multiple AHS vehicles to complete the move. (Photo by Jesse Boily)Jesse Boily

The Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Hospital served the Grande Prairie area for over 36 years until it was relieved of many of its duties as the region’s primary hospital in 2021. 

The opening of the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital left the QEII open for ambulatory healthcare services including dialysis, community-based rehabilitation services and Mackenzie Place continuing care.

It has also been used for television productions like The Last of Us, for scenes of a post-apocalyptic hospital.

Town & Country News reached out to Alberta Health Services (AHS) to find out what the future of the QEII entails. 

“While all acute clinical programming (inpatient services) in Grande Prairie have moved to (GPRH), there are certain community-based healthcare services being provided at the (QEII) Ambulatory Care Centre,” said AHS in a statement to the News. 

“This includes some ambulatory care services such as outpatient dialysis, outpatient endoscopy, Allied Health programs like outpatient rehabilitation and occupational therapy, community respiratory programs and Mackenzie Place continuing care. 

“These services, among others, continue to operate at the QEII and adjoining Mackenzie Place site, along with support services for these programs, as needed.

“Work continues, trying to determine the exact scope of additional services to be offered at the QEII in the future. 

“We want to ensure services are provided in the most appropriate setting while also making the best use of our existing infrastructure.

“Our preference would be to continue to use the QEII site for clinical programs where feasible while avoiding duplications of services being provided at GPRH.

“Alberta Kidney Care North is working closely with Alberta Health Services’ planning department to expand hemodialysis at the Mackenzie Place site. More information will be shared once updates become available.”

In February, the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital Foundation (GPRHF) said it was moving forward with a $1.5 million investment to expand the kidney care centre at the QEII.

“There is a larger population that needs dialysis locally than what we can currently do,” said Keith Curtis, GPRHF executive director. He noted the expansion was only a five- to eight-year solution. 

He told the city council in February there are currently five dialysis chairs, with one commonly out of service; the service is offered in two shifts five days a week. With the new funding, the hope is to have eight chairs and run three shifts seven days a week.

“It is a temporary solution we realized but it was either wait eight years for full-out or move forward with this,” he said.

AHS said it is working with indigenous partners to prioritize space at the QEII “for future programs designed to meet the health needs of our indigenous population.” 

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 18, 2024 at 08:22

This item reprinted with permission from   Town & Country News   Beaverlodge, Alberta

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