A spokesman for Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro disputes United Nurses of Alberta’s claim that he connected emergency room closures to staff vacations.
The union jumped on an exchange between NDP health critic David Shepherd and Shandro in the Alberta legislature earlier this week, saying in a Wednesday news release he suggested nurse vacations were partly the cause of emergency room bed closures and reduced access.
Shandro spokesman Steve Buick said the minister said nothing of the sort.
“Minister Shandro simply didn’t say what the nurses’ union claims, or anything like it,” said Buick in an email.
“He didn’t even mention RNs, or blame anyone. What he actually said is recorded in Hansard: gaps in rural physician coverage cause service reductions, it’s a longstanding issue, it happened at a number of sites under the NDP, and it’s obviously been made worse by the pandemic.”