Sign campaign launched to pressure province for Sylvan care centre

The group pursuing an urgent care centre for Sylvan Lake plans to take its campaign to local yards.

The group pursuing an urgent care centre for Sylvan Lake plans to take its campaign to local yards.

Sylvan Lake Mayor Susan Samson said 100 signs saying “Support Urgent Care” have been ordered and are expected to arrive within days. It is all part of a plan to ensure that the need for a medical facility providing non-life-threatening emergency care for residents of the town and nearby communities remains in the spotlight, especially as the date for a spring provincial election looms closer.

“We’re trying to get (the signs) out at strategic, high-profile locations,” she said.

“We want to be ready when the provincial election ramps up so when people ask what is the number one issue for Sylvan Lake, it’s urgent care,” she added.

“We’re not going to talk about other things. We’re asking for one thing and one thing only for the area — and that’s urgent care.”

The signs will be available at the town office for $10 apiece to recover the cost. The committee lobbying for a care centre has already advertised its fight on buttons, and recently produced another 1,000 that can be picked up at the town office or at local doctors’ offices.

Those pursuing an urgent care centre recently met with Alberta Health and Wellness Minister Fred Horne, local MLA Luke Ouellette and health officials and came away encouraged.

“The first thing the health minister said, is ‘I understand what you’re asking for, I recognize the need and you don’t have to sell me on this.’”

It was made clear that the communities seeking the care centre must now work together to explore ways to make an urgent care centre happen.

“These big capital projects don’t happen overnight,” said the mayor. “So now we’re talking about, can we lease space?

“We’re going to send some possible locations up to Alberta Health Services in Red Deer and let them know there are some prime locations that could be leased,” she said.

Meanwhile, the committee will continue to work with health officials on a business plan for a care centre.

The Towns of Bentley and Eckville, Red Deer and Lacombe Counties and the five summer villages on Sylvan Lake have also joined the effort and are gathering statistical data to support the case for a centre.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com