Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s recent use of a converted tub room for a teen patient highlights the need for more beds, said Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer.
“In a general sense, scenarios like this outline the need for infrastructure and programming and service expansion at the Red Deer Regional Hospital,” said Veer, who said she could not speak to specific situations.
“Red Deer, we know, has a critical bed shortage. “It’s been identified for many years.
“Again it highlights the concerns that city council has raised, that our community has raised, that our emergency room doctors and other staff at the hospital have raised …”
A father went public with his concerns earlier this week that his 19-year-old daughter, who was being treated for a blood infection, was transferred from a regular room to the converted tub room towards the end of her one-week stay.
The need for 96 more beds, three more operating rooms, 18 emergency treatment stretchers, and a cardiac catheterization unit, has been identified by a local doctors group.
Veer said Red Deer’s hospital was identified on a provincial priority list and then not funded.
“Even if we were to receive funding today, it would be many years before we would realize the benefits of that infrastructure funding.”
Red Deer hospital was given $1 million in the spring provincial budget for a business plan to determine how best to proceed with improvements to the facility.
While the money was welcomed, there was local dismay that hospital expansion in Red Deer was not on the government’s five-year health care infrastructure list.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) said staff are working hard to provide the best care for patients.
“There are times that our hospital experiences capacity pressures, where we may be required to treat our patients in non-traditional care spaces,” said AHS in a statement.
“Patient safety and care is our foremost concern and the decision to place someone in an over-capacity space is made in consultation with their care team.
“The care team and unit leader spoke with the patient and their family to discuss their concerns and, as capacity pressures eased, were able to place the patient in a traditional room when one became available.”
AHS says any patient or family concerns about a hospital experience can be taken to the patient relations department