Postponed surgeries double at Stollery Children’s hospital

EDMONTON – New Democrat Leader, Rachel Notley released documents today showing a disturbing trend in the number of surgeries being postponed in Alberta due to hospital capacity.

“Families are arriving at the hospital only to find out the important surgeries and procedures they have been anxiously awaiting have been postponed. The PCs have not made health care in this province a priority and it's our province's most vulnerable people who are paying the price,” said Notley.

The documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, show thousands of surgeries are being postponed every year in Alberta. Nine months into the 2014-2015 fiscal year, 1,376 surgeries have been cancelled across the province—almost five surgeries every day. Based on previous year’s numbers, all zones are likely to exceed last year’s cancellation numbers.

Perhaps most concerning is the number of surgeries that have been postponed at the Stollery Children’s hospital. In the first 9 months of this fiscal year, the hospital has almost doubled what was reported for all of last year.

“This backs up the stories we’ve heard from parents and kids. Anxious parents bring their kids in for surgeries, only to be told that they can’t fit them in this week. This prolongs anxiety, stress, pain and illness for kids in Alberta. It's just not right,” said Notley.

“This is another troubling symptom of an overcapacity crisis the PCs refuse to address. This government has neglected our hospitals for years, making shiny announcements at election time, and then failing to follow through with the meaningful changes Albertans deserve.”

The current crisis in hospitals stems from decades of reckless mistakes from the PCs. They have failed to invest in needed infrastructure maintenance and upgrades, to plan over the long term for hospitals and health infrastructure and build long-term care spaces.