In 2016 the infrastructure priorities at the Red Deer Regional Hospital have been removed from the priorities of Alberta Health Services. Doctors struggling within our system are speaking out about the challenges they face in a system has been underfunded for many years and lacks necessary capacity.
We are the fifth busiest hospital in the province. Report in 2015 says we need three more operating rooms, 96 more hospital beds at 18 more emergency room beds. Surgeries are routinely cancelled. Only one operating room funded on the weekend.
Ambulance attendants wait hours with patients .Often this leaves smaller communities without ambulance services. Ninety per cent of people wait longer than 33 hours in emergency for a hospital bed. We can wait 13 weeks for a CT scan and 23 weeks for an MRI yet these services are not funded for use on the weekend.
For people who have heart attacks access to a Cardiac Cauterization Lab is available only in larger centres resulting in 60 per cent of Central Albertans more likely to die or be disabled.
There are long waits for unplanned urgent surgery. We are in frequent overcapacity putting patients in hallways and tub rooms. Central Alberta does not attract some doctors because of their inability to fully use their skills.
The comparison grafts of spending in the various areas of the province over the last few decades show our area has been noticeably underfunded.
What we need is massive active long-term support for the movement Friends of Central Alberta Health Care that is being started. It will deal with issues specific to our area With a collective voice we can be agents of change.
Brenda D. Corney, Friends of Medicare Red Deer Chapter
Protect our history
It was with interest that I read about Parks Canada moving to working with Canadian First Nations groups as part of their future planning. We are fortunate that Red Deer city council is collaborating with local groups as well in the construction of housing along the Red Deer River.
The Red Deer area has been home to native groups for thousands of years.
However, a little research soon uncovers evidence of native heritage at Rotary Park, Maskepatoon Park, Lower Fairview (burials), Westpark (tipi rings and burials), random graves and artifact collections from the Bowers and other families (found at the Museum in storage). The Bower Natural Area was once a Elk Pound, and where the buffalo and elk roam, processing sites and summer camps exist.
The problem surrounding native artifacts and cultural sites is one of recency. The prevailing attitude may be that it has only been two centuries since First Nations peoples lived here, so how can their remains and belongings be valuable? homes)?
Newcomers to our country have noted that they were witness to wholesale destruction of culture and they did not protest. Their warning is simple … take care NOW to protect and preserve. History, once destroyed, is gone forever.
Perhaps the city of Red Deer might take the opportunity to speak with native archaeologists with an ear to the unwritten history?
With Spring upon us, Clearview, is going to change and earth movers will wantonly shift centuries of cultural evidence without notice or care.
Are we going to be seen as destroyers or protectors?
Tim Lasiuta, Red Deer