Alberta to cut wait times, boost flu vaccinations

EDMONTON — The Alberta government wants to reduce emergency room wait times over the next three years, though at least one critic questions how that will be achieved.

EDMONTON — The Alberta government wants to reduce emergency room wait times over the next three years, though at least one critic questions how that will be achieved.

New targets released Tuesday indicate Alberta Health Services wants to slash the wait for complex cases in emergency departments from 16 hours to eight hours by 2012.

The target wait time for less complex cases would be four hours, down for the current 5.6 hours.

Dr. Stephen Duckett, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services, also wants to drop average wait times for hip replacement surgeries from 33 weeks to 26 weeks over the next three years.

In addition, the plan calls for 75 per cent of seniors to be immunized for the flu by 2012, up from the current 58 per cent provincewide.

Duckett, whose annual base salary is $575,000, could see that increase by up to 25 per cent if the performance objectives are met.

“We have difficult decisions to make in the years ahead, but we will not be deterred from driving forward on improvements in emergency department wait times, hip and knee surgery wait times, and better protection for seniors from influenza,” Duckett said.

Ruth Adria, chairman of the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society, said she approves of the new targets — “as long as they actually happen.”

“We live in a world where we keep being told something will change and it never does,” she said. “It’s often just rhetoric to keep the populous quiet.”

Adria said convincing many more seniors to get the flu vaccination may be difficult. She said many elderly people don’t see the need.

She said while the province claims the wait for hip replacement surgery is 33 weeks, she know of people who have waited two years.

“And this is not something that’s just cosmetic. It affects their entire lives.”

Just Posted

Sunny weather improves farmers’ prospects

A harvester kicking up dust. It’s a picture that will bring a… Continue reading

Rural transit pilot project being considered

Penhold, Innisfail and Red Deer County councils to decide whether to go ahead with project

Red Deer fire station up for sale

Home sweet home at Fire Station 4

Most surveyed Innisfail residents give urban chickens the thumbs up

Town of Innisfail will discuss whether to allow backyard chickens on Monday

‘Mom I’m in trouble:’ Canadian, Brit face 10 years in jail for alleged graffiti

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The mother of a Canadian who was arrested… Continue reading

Coyote on the prowl near Penhold

This coyote was out on the prowl in a field just west… Continue reading

Sky’s the limit as Calgary opens testing area for drones and new technologies

CALGARY — The sky’s the limit as the city of Calgary opens… Continue reading

Hi Mickey, ‘Bye Mickey: 6 Disney parks on 2 coasts in 1 day

ORLANDO, Fla. — Heather and Clark Ensminger breathed sighs of relief when… Continue reading

Court weighs ‘Apprentice’ hopeful’s suit versus Trump

NEW YORK — President Donald Trump’s lawyers hope to persuade an appeals… Continue reading

StarKist admits fixing tuna prices, faces $100 million fine

SAN FRANCISCO — StarKist Co. agreed to plead guilty to a felony… Continue reading

Annual pace of inflation slows to 2.2 per cent in September: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — The annual pace of inflation slowed more than expected in… Continue reading

Jury finds Calgary couple guilty in 2013 death of toddler son

CALGARY — A jury has convicted a Calgary couple in the death… Continue reading

Most Read