Alberta NDP is criticizing a two-week delay in returning obstetrics services to Sundre’s hospital, which have not been offered since April 2020. Obstetrics was to be offered again on May 6 but now delayed until May 20. (File photo from The Canadian Press)

Alberta NDP is criticizing a two-week delay in returning obstetrics services to Sundre’s hospital, which have not been offered since April 2020. Obstetrics was to be offered again on May 6 but now delayed until May 20. (File photo from The Canadian Press)

Alberta NDP criticizes obstetrics delay in Sundre

No obstetrics in Sundre since April 2020 and was to return on May 6 but now delayed until May 20

Sundre’s two-year wait for the return of obstetrical services at its hospital has been extended another two weeks.

Obstetrical services at Myron Thompson Health Centre have not been offered since April 6, 2020 and was scheduled to reopen today, says the Alberta NDP in a news release.

However, an Alberta Health Services interactive map at albertahealthservices.ca on temporary bed and space reductions lists the new start date as May 20.

“It is simply unacceptable that for two years, the UCP has forced expecting parents in and around Sundre to travel hundreds of kilometres to give birth,” said Janis Irwin, NDP Status of Women critic in a news release. “Not being able to give birth close to home adds uncertainty and costs to families. To make matters worse, the UCP are unable to honestly tell people in Sundre and across Alberta when obstetric services will resume.”

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In central Alberta, there are also currently obstetric closures in Three Hills and Rimbey. In Three Hills, obstetrics has not been offered since Dec. 16, 2021 due to “temporary staff shortage due to vacation, vacancies, ongoing recruitment.” Services are expected to resume on June 6.

Rimbey has been without obstetrics since Sept. 20, 2021 for the same reasons. Services are expected to return on May 15. Three of Rimbey’s 23 acute care beds have been closed since Dec. 1, 2021 but are expected to reopen on May 15.

In Rocky Mountain House, 10 of 31 acute care beds have been closed since Dec. 10, 2021 but are expected to reopen on June 10.

The issues in Sundre put more pressure on Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, which is currently not able to keep up with demand and is diverting general surgeries to other communities,” says Irwin.

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