Emergency departments still dealing with dangerous capacity issues

EDMONTON – New Democrat Seniors critic David Eggen called on the government to provide Albertans with an update on the number of continuing care space that have been opened since the PCs promised 464 new spaces, in October.

“We’ve reached a point where emergency room doctors no longer have the resources to provide safe care to Albertans. We’re hearing stories of patients having heart attacks in waiting rooms, parents waiting hours with seriously sick and injured children and patients being treated and assessed in hallway. It’s another symptom of the wrong priorities of this PC government,” said Eggen.

Eggen’s comments come after the latest warning from Alberta emergency room doctors that critical capacity issues are now endangering the lives of patients as doctors do not have the resources necessary to provide the care that is needed.

He called on the PCs to provide an update on their promise to open spaces for people in need of long-term care.

“The PCs promised “meaningful progress in short order” to relieve pressures on hospitals. They told Albertans they would get the 700 patients who are currently in hospitals waiting for a long-term care bed the care they need and deserve. It appears those patients are still waiting,” said Eggen.

Dr. Paul Parks, spokesperson for the AMA Emergency Section of Medicine- South Zone, publicly sounded the alarm over capacity issues last year, warning that critical capacity issues in Alberta hospitals were endangering patients’ lives. Parks pointed to a lack of long term care beds as the route of the problem.

Since then, numerous ER doctors have publicly spoken out about the issue, warning of dire and deadly consequences if nothing is done.

“Alberta families should always come first but this government is neglecting seniors and endangering lives by refusing to protect and fund our most vital public service.”