Healthcare issues all over Alberta

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

The NDP Official Opposition iss ued a news release June 8 citing eight rural Alberta communities who saw recent service cuts or bed closures at their community hospital.

The list did not include recent temporary closures in McLennan or High Prairie.

Meanwhile, the NDP could not resist taking a shot while making their statement.

“While Jason Kenney and Tyler Shandro were sipping whisky on the Sky Palace patio and failing to take action, rural Albertans were losing access to healthcare in their community,” says NDP Health Critic David Shepherd.

The recent closures include:

  • *The Edson Healthcare Centre announced that six of its 24 acute care beds would be closed until September due to a staff shortage;
  • *The Boyle Healthcare Centre had no doctor in its emergency department for 24 hours;
  • *The St. Therese-St. Paul Healthcare Centre is closing 10 of its 30 beds until the end of August. Surgeries also stopped due to staffing shortages;
  • *At Elk Point, the hospital’s emergency department will have no doctors in the emergency room on Tuesdays and Thursdays until further notice;
  • *At Galahad, 18 seniors were moved from their homes and moved to other communities because of a lack of staffing;
  • *In Westlock, the hospital was forced to cancel C-sections due to a lack of staffing;
  • *Over the last month, emergency room closures occurred at Rocky Mountain House and Fairview.

Shepherd says not only McLennan but other municipal leaders are concerned.

“I’m hearing loud and clear from rural leaders that this UCP government is failing to listen to them and one of their top concerns is a lack of healthcare professionals,” he says.

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