The City of Cold Lake has been notified by Alberta Health Services (AHS) that there will be periods at the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre when there will be no anesthetist coverage.
A memo from AHS notified community stakeholders that there will be no anesthetist coverage effective immediately until January 3 at 7:00 a.m. and then from January 14 at 4
p.m. to January 17 at 8 a.m. This will have impacts to several departments, including obstetrics, surgery, stroke and respiratory (COVID) response.
“Our community values the healthcare centre and the professionals who provide our community with excellent care, however, this news is very disheartening,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “We’ve known for a long time that more doctors are needed in the community, and we have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on efforts to attract and retain doctors to avoid interruptions in healthcare service, however, there always seems to be some sort of red tape and barriers in AHS’s process. We remain committed to ensuring that our healthcare centre is adequately staffed, despite raising these concerns for many years.”
Once again, healthcare and access to doctors were identified as a top priority for City Council. The City will be taking further steps to engage residents and shed light on the community’s concerns. With data surrounding access to healthcare difficult to find, Cold Lake Council had approved several plebiscite questions in the recent municipal election. Council will receive the data from those questions in January, 2022. Council will then decide whether to include questions surrounding access to healthcare in a 2022 municipal census, which was funded in the recently passed budget.
“The questions we could ask in the election were very limited, but if we decide to move ahead with the census in 2022, we will be able to ask more thorough questions that will provide a much clearer picture of any issues surrounding access to healthcare in Cold Lake,” Copeland said. “Having this data will help us in our recruiting efforts so that we use our community’s resources as effectively as possible.”