Doctors at Red Deer Regional Hospital are going public with their dissatisfaction over the state of health care in Central Alberta.
"There are programs, for example, that exist in Edmonton and Calgary that patients in Central Alberta access on a regular basis that could be delivered in Red Deer that we simply don't have the infrastructure funding to support," argued Dr. Kym Jim, who speaks for the doctors group.
While the doctors cite surgery delays and an overtaxed emergency department, it's the lack of a cardiac catheterization lab that's really costing lives, he claimed.
"They may be wondering whether that 60 per cent difference in death rate between patients that live in Central Zone versus those who live in Edmonton or Calgary is real, but cardiac catheterization is the standard of care when it comes to acute heart attack, so why wouldn't you deliver the standard of care closer to home for people?," he asked.
It's been about 15 years since Red Deer Regional, which serves the entire Central Zone, including Drumheller, saw any major expansion, but all calls to change that have so far gone unheeded.
"There had been a planning document that came out in October or November of last year that described the 2016 priorities," recalled Jim. "Red Deer had fallen off a list that we had previously been prioritized on and that is really the impetus that has led the physicians as kind of a final straw to come forward and say enough is enough."
Red Deer doctors are holding a public information session this Tuesday, February 28 at the Baymont Inn and Suites, the former Red Deer Lodge, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
You can learn more by following this link.