Posted on Jul 19, 2021

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley issued the following statement in response to ongoing reports of bed closures and critical staff shortages in hospitals and health clinics in communities across Alberta, as well as the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Grey Nun

“These critical staff shortages are spreading.

“Over the weekend, we learned that another of Edmonton’s busiest hospitals, the Grey Nuns, will be periodically closing its endoscopy unit over the next two weeks and transporting patients to other hospitals. The hospital in McLennan had no doctors in the emergency room for 30 hours over this weekend. And we also learned that the St. Theresa General Hospital in Fort Vermillion will have no overnight doctors in the ER for the next two weeks and will have to send emergency patients 81 kilometres away to High Level.

“This is a dangerous situation.

“We have repeatedly called on Tyler Shandro to take action, but all he has offered Albertans is excuses and finger-pointing. Let’s be clear: we are here because Jason Kenney acted last and acted least in the second and third waves. Our healthcare heroes are burnt-out and patients who are arriving much sicker than before because their conditions have been left unaddressed for a year and a half.

“And what is Jason Kenney’s response? He announces his plans to slash the wages of these frontline healthcare heroes. It’s incredibly disrespectful and demoralizing, especially at a time when so many communities are running out of nurses and doctors.

“Jason Kenney and Tyler Shandro need to come up with a plan to keep Alberta’s hospitals open and the first step to that is abandoning these plans to cut the wages of the Albertans who work in them.”