By Lethbridge Herald on January 12, 2022.
I am a very concerned citizen worried about the present state of our emergency services. Alberta’s healthcare system has been strained, from ambulance service to ICUs, for many months. Illness, physical and mental health injuries, and increased suicide have plagued its staff. Workers are exhausted and burned out at an alarming rate after almost two years of fighting this pandemic. Ambulance delays and red alerts (when no ambulance is available) are adding to the worst day of the patient’s life and to the practitioner that has taken an oath “to do no harm.” These medics are feeling defeated and unsupported! Our dedicated frontline workers have followed the rules and have kept so many people safe during this unfolding crisis. They deserve our gratitude, along with a safe and supportive work environment. Instead, they deal with overburdened workloads along with a shortfall of resources to respond adequately to every emergency.
When ambulances aren’t available, it causes a cascading effect, leaving firefighters and police at medical calls tied up, waiting for further care and transport. Rural ambulance teams are spending more time out of their community when pulled into the vortex of the bigger cities, leaving many smaller communities without ambulance services.
How many patients have died waiting for an ambulance or due to increased response times? All Albertans are vulnerable to this reality, and the threat will only increase if those with the power to enact necessary and immediate change fail to do so. Our dedicated EMS workers need a safe and supportive work environment where their mental and physical wellbeing is prioritized instead of routinely sacrificed. And they require adequate resources to continue fulfilling their crucial role in our society.
I have written letters to our elected officials and the head doctor of AHS and have encouraged my friends and family to do the same.
However, it is too easy for the concerns of a few to be ignored. Please consider writing your own letter to our elected officials and adding your voice to the growing demand for immediate change.