EDMONTON – Documents obtained by Alberta’s NDP through a Freedom of Information request indicate long-neglected infrastructure problems at the Royal Alexandra hospital are contributing to infection rates and making patients sicker.
Alberta’s NDP Leader Rachel Notley said the documents indicate that deficiencies in the building contribute to infections and poor health outcomes, including:
- Ventilation system that doesn’t meet minimum infection control standards,
- High number of multi patient rooms risking cross patient contamination,
- Insufficient hand washing facilities.
“The Royal Alex is making patients sick,” said Notley. “PC neglect of hospital upkeep and maintenance has again led to a situation where problems have gotten worse. It’s going to cost a lot to clean up the latest PC mess in health care.”
The Royal Alexandra is the second hospital in Edmonton to face major infrastructure problems. The Misericordia west Edmonton has faced flooding, pests, and other major problems.
The documents released by the NDP indicate the PCs are considering turning the renovation and operation of the hospital over to a private company with a public, private partnership (P3).
“After the debacle with P3 schools – it’s unimaginable that this government wants to turn our hospitals over to the private sector,” said Notley. “This is a highly risky, ideological solution which puts the maintenance and sanitation of hospitals into the hands of private investors whose first duty will be to shareholders instead of patients.
“The documents themselves acknowledge that a P3 will limit the flexibility of the government to implement public policy. Patients need a health system that can move quickly – not one that has to consult with contractors when an emergency arises.”