Red Deer’s hope for local cardiac catheterization lab continues

Alberta’s health minister was non-committal on strengthening Red Deer’s cardiac treatment, but stressed the importance of local health care.

Speaking Monday after announcing expanded health care services in Sylvan Lake, Sarah Hoffman said she has had some conversations with local leaders about the cardiac catheterization lab.

“I’ve met with the mayor and chatted on the phone a couple of times on the phone with MLAs from Red Deer and some physicians in the community,” she said.

The push for adding the lab to the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre began in earnest in October when local physicians launched a Facebook page and campaign to add the “cardiac cath lab.” An online petition was also launched, and has since garnered more than 1,000 supporters.

Local cardiac surgeons believe they can save about 30 lives a year if Red Deer gets the lab.

“I absolutely understand why they want to have a cath lab in Red Deer. Other parts of the province are also interested in having expanded heart care and cardiac care. There is a provincial strategy being developed,” she said.

“I’m really proud we do have world class facilities in Calgary and Edmonton and we’re finding ways we can meet the health needs as close to home for as many people as possible. “

According to the campaign’s website, Central Alberta patients currently can only receive a clot busting drug and a transfer to Edmonton or Calgary.

Both the Red Deer Regional Hospital Foundation and local philanthropists Joan and Jack Donald have offered $5 million each towards the lab.

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