EDMONTON, AB (December 18, 2013): With sources confirming surgeries are being cancelled at the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth demanded accountability from AHS and assurances that either staffing or bed shortages will be fixed.
Forsyth said that whether it is a lack of beds, or failing to ensure our front-line services are properly funded, cancelling surgeries needed for vulnerable children is unacceptable. “As a parent, watching a young member of your family be asked to wait days, or weeks for a crucial surgery is agonizing,” Forsyth said. “AHS needs to be crystal clear as to why surgeries are being cancelled.” In January 2012, AHS promised to have 14 new neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) beds in service by the end of 2013, but a recent FOIP shows only eight beds are in service. With families relying on these crucial services, Forsyth called for AHS to give a firm deadline for when new beds will be available and assurance these services will no longer be disrupted. “Every extra day waiting for surgery adds risk and uncertainty for patients and their loved ones,” Forsyth said. “This should not and cannot happen again.”