Closures have already started

I travelled to Hanna on Mother’s Day weekend, where I learned that a dear family friend had received a letter from the Southern Alberta Renal Program informing him that the kidney dialysis unit Hanna would close May 25. This was not done with any consultation with any of the stakeholders.

Re. the recent news story, headlined Leaked letter suggests Alberta may downgrade rural hospitals:

I travelled to Hanna on Mother’s Day weekend, where I learned that a dear family friend had received a letter from the Southern Alberta Renal Program informing him that the kidney dialysis unit Hanna would close May 25. This was not done with any consultation with any of the stakeholders.

Included in the letter were a “couple of suggestions” for this family. They could move to Drumheller or take a cab.

The reason stated for the closure was a decrease in usage; however, the family learned at the present time there are two patients and would have been a third, but she was refused access due to the closure.

The aging population along with the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes should tell anyone with common sense that the patients will only increase.

When I returned home, I read of the leaked report and at the same time was told about an online survey for Alberta Health Services about the direction they hope to go with health care. The “values” they have listed include respect, accountability, transparency, engagement, patient, family and community. Now which of those did they think about when they closed this dialysis unit and the future closures? The answer is none of the above.

I had thought with the improved 911 service that rural Albertans would finally begin to receive their share of health service as they have been on the short end of the stick ever since health care existed. I should have known better.

If you care about anyone in rural Alberta, or if you are selfish enough to realize all these closures will put even more stress on Red Deer’s hospital, go to www.gov.ab.ca for contact information for Premier Ed Stelmach and Health Minister Ron Liepert. Or call your MLA and tell them what you think.

JoAnne Korosi

Red Deer

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