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Letter: Reduce surgery wait times in Alberta

There is a lot of concern over doctors having to play God and make choices with Covid-19 patients. I do not know why that is such an issue when Premier Jason Kenney and Alberta Health Services have already been playing God with hundreds of people on waiting lists for surgeries. Some have died while others have gotten so much worse their lives will never be the same.

My friend has been waiting 17 months and still waiting.

She has gone from being able to live independently to now unable to leave her apartment. I am worried and afraid I will check in on her one of these days and she has taken her own life as that is the point where she is at.

There are many rural hospitals that are close to major centres. Why can’t one of them be designated as Covid free and surgical? Would not have to buy equipment as so many surgical rooms are not in use.

Covid is not going anywhere anytime soon.

Have one hospital with surgical rooms to handle several types of surgeries. Do the same kind of surgery for the week, then rotate to another and start getting the people off waiting lists.

Doctors and surgical staff would have to either commute or stay in the community for that week. I live in Ponoka and work in Red Deer everyday so I know it is quite possible. I do not know of any patient that would not be willing to travel if it meant they could get their surgery done.

Covid-19 is not just killing infected people. It is unfair and inhumane to put so many others at risk for long term pain and needless suffering. COVID-19 is a crisis, it will be with us for at least another year before anyone gets a handle on it, and many sacrifices have had to be made. But we need to broaden our scope and not lay the burden on so many who also need help. Let’s give them some hope as well.

Linda Greer, Ponoka

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