The province is providing $15 million to upgrade laboratory equipment in Edmonton and northern Alberta.

New centrifuges, microscopes, analyzers and other pieces of essential equipment will help ensure people living in and around Edmonton and across northern Alberta continue to have access to state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment services.

The Alberta government is spending more than $21.1 billion on health care this year, the highest ever in the province’s history.

“With this money, Alberta Health Services will be able to modernize lab equipment in large hospitals in Edmonton, but also in smaller communities so that patients and families can get the support they need for their health and treatment journey.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

Upgraded and modernized laboratory equipment and technology will mean patients and families have access to reliable, sustainable lab infrastructure as part of a strong public health-care system.

About 2.3 million Albertans get lab tests annually. By 2025, the province anticipates 72 million tests will be conducted for people in the same areas because of population growth, increased demand for such tests and the increased types of tests available. Arthur C. Green/River Radio

“This grant will ensure Edmontonians and people in northern Alberta have access to modern diagnostic tests and analyses that will help in their treatment, now and into the future.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, AHS
In 2012, 37 million lab tests were conducted in the Edmonton, North and Central zones of AHS. Arthur C. Green/River Radio

During the next two years, AHS will purchase and install equipment in many facilities, including:

  • In Edmonton’s Cross Cancer Institute, the Misericordia and University of Alberta hospitals
  • In Bonnyville, Grande Prairie, Peace River, Tofield, Westlock, Leduc and Boyle, among other communities
Lab tests inform more than 70 per cent of health-care decisions. There are 75 million lab tests performed in Alberta each year. Arthur C. Green/River Radio

“Modern and advanced laboratory equipment helps medical laboratory technologists and assistants do the best job they can to assist in diagnoses and treatment. Our members practise in many types of medical, research and educational laboratories and will be excited to use the new equipment in AHS facilities to advance care.”

Christine Nielsen, CEO, Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

The equipment will be used for blood and chemistry work, genetic and molecular testing and other medical and diagnostic services.

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Budget 2020 includes a two-year, $15-million capital plan to support laboratory infrastructure in northern Alberta and Edmonton, with $9 million provided to upgrade equipment in 2020-21 and an additional $6 million in 2021-22. This is in addition to the $30 million already provided to AHS each year to upgrade medical equipment. 

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The government says, Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify and create tens of thousands of jobs now.

“By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure we are benefitting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth. Alberta came together to save lives by flattening the curve and now we must do the same to save livelihoods, grow and thrive,” the Alberta Government stated.

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