Despite having the second-highest expensive healthcare system in the country, Alberta had the lowest number of ICU beds. A situation that was exacerbated by the pandemic.  

Premier Kenney says, “One thing that we learned during COVID is the Canadian healthcare system does not have an adequate capacity period, full stop. And we learned in Alberta that was especially true.”  

The latest provincial budget allowed for $300 million over three years for Alberta Health Services to boost its ICU capacity to 223 beds across all zones in the province.  

Friday, May 13, officials announced that nineteen of 50 new critical care beds have been opened and staffed in hospitals in the province. With the projection that the remaining 31 beds will open by September of 2022. 

To date, AHS has filled 250 positions to support the new beds which include nurses and other support service positions. AHS plans to recruit another 425 positions to support the opening of the additional beds.  

The additional beds will be delegated as follows: 

  • five are in the Foothills Medical Centre (Calgary) 

  • two are in Rockyview General Hospital (Calgary) 

  • two are in South Health Campus (Calgary) 

  • three are in the University of Alberta Hospital (Edmonton) 

  • two are in the Royal Alexandra Hospital (Edmonton) 

  • one is in the Sturgeon Community Hospital (St. Albert) 

  • two are in the Grande Prairie Regional Hospital 

  • two are in the Chinook Regional Hospital (Lethbridge)