Letter: Red Deer hospital is a priority

Red Deer received some incredibly disappointing news from AHS – hospital improvements that we so desperately need in Central Alberta are not very high on their priority list.

I have spoken with many of the concerned doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel, all of whom agree that our hospital is the highest priority. I also see this as a high priority. The constituents I hear from on this issue daily consider it a high priority.

The emergency services staff in Red Deer, and especially those who work long hours, evenings, weekends and holidays to help the rest of us in our times of need, are second to none. They dedicate themselves to fighting for the health and lives of central Albertans. They do all of this, and they do it well, despite the health infrastructure challenges we face in Red Deer.

I understand there are health needs all across the province, and that there are limited dollars to meet those needs, but I think the importance of increasing capacity at the Red Deer Regional Hospital is more than evident. It’s difficult to hear of long wait times and ambulances lined up waiting to get into the emergency room.

I know Health Minister Sarah Hoffman is hearing the message we’re sending, and she assures me Central Alberta is not forgotten. We will be meeting in Red Deer to further discuss our health-care issues, and I hope to provide an update on the Central Zone Healthcare Plan soon, which will address the longer-term needs of the region.

I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to keep this important issue at the forefront. I’ve met the doctors and activists who are pushing for these improvements, I’ve attended the rallies and I’ve heard the concerns of my constituents very clearly.

I know they’re not going to keep quiet about this, and neither am I.

MLA Kim Schreiner, Red Deer-North

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