CALGARY – New Democrat Leader Rachel Notley and Calgary-Fort nomination candidate Joe Ceci released documents today that show Calgary emergency rooms are dealing with a severe capacity crisis. The data reveals a sharply growing number of Tier 1, or high-risk overcapacity triggers in Calgary emergency departments.
"When our emergency departments cannot provide emergency care, there's only one place to point the finger: at this PC government that has neglected our healthcare system for decades. Calgarians are worried about their families' future - they're worried that further cuts will make the situation worse," said Notley.
T1 overcapacity triggers, the highest risk triggers, are initiated when a patient needing either resuscitation, rapid medical intervention or is expected to progress to need emergent medical intervention would not be able to get the care that they urgently need.
In September 2014, a high-risk overcapacity protocol was triggered 43 times in Calgary emergency departments. Even more alarming is that on September 24th every one of the five hospitals reported on triggered a high-risk overcapacity protocol.
The number of high-risk overcapacity triggers have sharply increased since July 2014, peaking in November 2014 at 66 triggers in one month.
"Our doctors and nurses are doing the best they can. But the PCs have allowed the health care system across Calgary to weaken to the point that very often, emergency departments cannot provide emergency care," said Ceci. "That's just wrong. Calgary expects better and Calgary deserves better."
The NDP would relieve pressures on emergency departments by ensuring there are adequate and appropriate long-term care spaces for Albertans who need them.
For a backgrounder on overcapacity, click here.