Multi-million dollar renovations for the Airdrie Community Health Centre (AUC) have been paused until further notice.

Michelle Bates, the Executive Director of the Airdrie Health Foundation wrote in an email that the foundation was notified of the pause earlier this month.

"On January 11, the AHF [Airdrie Health Foundation] was informed the renovations were on pause as the government is looking into other opportunities for our community. This other opportunity, we are told, will be privately delivered and publicly funded."

The $8.4 million allocated for renovating Airdrie's Urgent Care Centre had been allocated some time ago, and according to Bates planning had been happening for at least a year.

"Construction was to start in the fall of 2023 but there were a few delays. Planning and drawings had been completed and staff were to start moving out of the health centre this month with construction also to start," she wrote.

Bates noted that the planned renovations were to change the floor plan of the centre resulting in more Urgent Care beds. Among other things, this included adding another triage, as well as bringing the RAZ [Rapid Assessment Zone] and UC beds closer together, which would increase the size of the waiting room. The renovations were meant to be completed by the end of this year.

"The AHF, needless to say, was disappointed with this announcement. We hope that this delay is short and that construction will start very soon in the Airdrie Community Health Centre," Bates concluded.

On Wednesday afternoon, both city officials and the province issued clarification statements.

According to The City of Airdrie, it is aware that a group from the Airdrie region created a proposal for the Minister of Health to provide a unique solution to primary and urgent care in Airdrie.

"The City was not part of creating the proposal, however, the City facilitated meetings between the group that created it and the Minister of Health. This is a typical role the City takes to connect our community to other levels of government to advance key initiatives in our City. We appreciate the Minister of Health considering all avenues to address health care challenges in Airdrie in a timely manner."

The province stated that after receiving a new joint proposal from One Health and QUALICO Communities, Alberta Health decided to pause the Airdrie Urgent Care Centre to thoroughly review this proposal and its innovative project delivery.

"We are working to ensure the best possible outcomes for patients and residents and will share more information as soon as possible."

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