Sunday, 8 June 2008

Province To Close Rural Hospitals?

It appears the provincial government is getting prepared to close hospitals in rural Alberta as the Calgary Herald reported yesterday. They are looking at turning them into long term care facilities and walk in clinics. Shawn Patience, mayor of Fort Macleod, is completely correct when he stated for the article, "If they're looking at closing more rural hospitals, that's not the way to provide proper health care in the province of Alberta". Fort Macleod lost their hospital in spite of the fact the town was home to then cabinet minister, Dave Coutts. Mayor Patience knows the negative effect a hospital closure has on our small communities.

One of our greatest assets here in Crowsnest Pass, as in other smaller towns, is our hospital. We can ill afford to lose it. Now, nothing in the article stated that our hospital was on the chopping block but I don't believe we can sit back and wait to see what the province's plans are before we act in the best interests of our community ensuring the continuing operation of our hospital as a hospital. Neither does our mayor. Right after reading the article yesterday afternoon, Dr. Irwin began his lobbying efforts on behalf of our hospital. Individual lobbying is a great start but I don't believe we can count on that alone. We have seen what happened in Dave Coutts' home town.

As this short sighted direction in health care affects all people in small town Alberta it is going to require a province wide effort to force the provincial government to reconsider what they are about to do in rural Alberta. Each and every town in this province is going to have to stand side by side in opposition to this regressive proposal. Each PC constituency association had better be exploring their options as they relate to getting their parties' elected officials on track with the needs of rural Alberta. Any action is going to have start quickly to insure the health and safety of rural Albertans.

No comments:

Post a Comment