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Monday, August 2, 2021
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UCP government says Albertans will have best access to surgeries by 2023

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The UCP government says Albertans will have the best access to scheduled surgery in the country by 2023. That’s in spite of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Between March 18th and May 4th all scheduled surgeries were put on hold here in the province. This resulted in a 60% reduction in surgeries. To date though, the province says 88% of that surgical backlog has now been cut.

In order to meet wait time targets, new and existing chartered surgical facilities will also be significantly expanded to provide more publicly-funded surgeries, something the government says will leave hospital operating rooms available to perform more complex surgeries.

“Our platform commitment to reduce surgical wait times will be met, pandemic or no pandemic. Reducing the backlog by 88% is a good first step, but we will need to push even harder in the months to come,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro during a news conference on Friday (Sept. 11)

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This expansion is expected to occur in both urban and rural communities across the province as a request for proposals generates new contracts.

On top of that, Shandro also announced an Indigenous funding grant stream that will open up the opportunity for First Nations communities to establish a chartered surgical facility on-reserve.

Six First Nations communities will be eligible for grants of up to $50,000 including the Blood Tribe and Siksika nations.

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of New Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

On a personal note, Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and funeral assistant since 2016.

Pat is engaged to Tarah and he has two kids and two step-children.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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