Posted on Dec 14, 2021

UCP Must Stop Rural Emergency Room Closures, Ensure Critical Care Available This Holiday Season

Jason Kenney and the UCP must ensure critical care is available in rural communities over the holiday break, as Fort Vermillion’s emergency room closes. 

As of Tuesday night, Albertans in Fort Vermillion will not have access to emergency care every single day until December 20th because there aren’t enough doctors to cover shifts.

Albertans living in rural communities deserve to know they can get care when they need it. This closure is simply unacceptable in a hospital that’s already closed 10 of its 26 acute care beds. The next closest emergency room is 81 kilometers away. The UCP must take action to protect the people of Fort Vermillion and other communities who face similar closures. - NDP Critic for Health David Shepherd 

In addition to Fort Vermillion, High Level, and Cold Lake, there are bed closures and service cuts in Manning, Fairview, Spirit River, Beaverlodge, Grand Prairie, High Prairie, McLennan, Wabasca, Barrhead, Mayerthorpe, St. Paul, Wainwright, Ponoka, Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House, and Hanna. 

The emergency room in Elk Point remains closed on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and the emergency room in Hardisty has been closed since April and is not anticipated to reopen until the new year. 

To ensure that rural Albertans have access to emergency room care over the holidays, a time that is statistically busier for those working in hospitals, Alberta’s NDP calls on the UCP government to present a plan to ensure there are no more emergency room closures over the holiday season. 

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