The lab will have the capacity to accommodate a greater volume of tests, while also providing the opportunity to introduce new high-tech, specialized diagnostics — such as genetic testing — that are currently outsourced.
As well, dedicated research space will help academics develop their diagnostic innovations into marketable products that can put to use in the health system, Yiu said.
The facility is expected to house about 800 employees at peak times, so a new parkade will also be required as part of the project.
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However, provincewide, lab services are delivered by at least six different organizations, resulting in a fragmented system that is “needlessly complex,” Hoffman said.
The decision ends a long period of uncertainty over lab services dating back to 2015, when AHS was set to sign a -billion deal to have a private company build a new lab facility and manage virtually all medical testing in the Edmonton region Hoffman abruptly ended that initiative and instead set on a course to create a single, publicly run lab services system for the province.