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Wednesday , 30 November 2022

Change to callback delivery could help stop Cold Lake hospital ER closures

The designation on the Cold Lake hospital has changed in hopes to allow for better patient care. 

Health Minister Jason Copping has recently changed the designation of the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre from rotation duty to callback in an effort to reduce disruptions to patient care caused by physician unavailability. 

This change will allow physicians to receive a callback fee for emergency work, which could help improve recruiting and keeping doctors in Cold Lake.

This move is allowed since the facility exceeds 25,000 annual visits.

Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul MLA David Hanson says this is good news for the community and could help slow down the persistent closure of the Cold Lake emergency department.

“Mayor Copeland and I have been pushing very hard for this. There’s a situation at the Cold Lake hospital where the ER department there has been designated as an urban center by AHS for many years,” Hanson told Lakeland Connect. 

This situation has severely hampered ER closures in Cold Lake. When the Minister of Health was up here in June, we had that meeting, I brought it forward to him again. At that meeting, there was an AHS representative there that agreed with me how to present that they’ve had to change. 

“It should make a difference. It’ll probably going to take a couple of weeks to get back into the system. But it should make a difference in our ER coverage and Cold Lake hospital, so it’s good news.”

Eleven other AHS sites with 25,000 plus visits are also designated callback facilities.

The ER has suffered from dozens of overnight closures in 2022 alone, as recently as Monday night and overnight on Wednesday as well.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.