Thursday, August 18, 2022

Southern Alberta E.R. docs write letter of concern to UCP government

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A group of southern Alberta emergency room doctors has written a letter to Premier Jason Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro, and local UCP MLAs concerned about provincial changes on the horizon to the health care system.

In the letter, signed by 36 E.R. physicians in Lethbridge and Medicine Hat, the doctors say they’re “deeply concerned that as early as April, emergency departments in this region will begin to be overwhelmed due to reductions in local primary and specialist care”.

The docs point out, for instance, daily visit caps on community physicians will shorten or eliminate some evening walk-in clinics, meaning that will push a lot more people to local hospital emergency rooms instead.

The ER doctors also write the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) has repeatedly expressed its willingness to return to the negotiating table “to find sustainable decreases in health spending that will not have draconian and devastating effects on the foundation of Albertan’s medical care.” The southern Alberta physicians say the AMA was “not willing to consider” the government’s proposals “they will immediately harm patients, and they will not save money.”

The letter is urging the UCP government to put a hold on these changes coming as soon as next month and go back to the bargaining table with doctors “to find actual financial savings in Alberta’s health care system.”

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