Emergency room crisis a sign system is broken

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A recent letter sent to Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky and various other individuals within the Alberta government by the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) confirms what many of us have suspected for a long time.

Dr. Paul Parks, section president of emergency medicine for the AMA, warns of a potential collapse of emergency care within our health care system. In other words, our system is broken.

Part of his suggested solution would see seniors moved into hospital hallways! Perhaps this would only apply if there were no other empty wards or beds where we could be shuttled off and ignored.

Zwozdesky’s solution? Cut bonuses if hospitals are not performing! This would seem to imply that the blame for the mess we find ourselves in lies with the facilities and their staff. My feeling is that they are not to blame. They are struggling with a system that is broken.

And where are the Friends of Medicare in all this? Surely they would say that we don’t need to change the system of health care delivery, it’s working just fine.

We have a situation where nearly 50 per cent of the provincial budget is being allocated towards health care, yet delivers results closer to that of a Third World country. When will someone finally have the backbone to stand for meaningful changes? We need competition within our healthcare system. Private and public treatment facilities co-exist successfully in many other countries with the result that care is improved with less money spent by the bureaucracy. Why do we resist the obvious solutions with so much vigour?

Our system is broken and until citizens of this province demand change with enough emphasis to be meaningful, it will remain so.

Steve Knobbe, St. Albert

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