June 12th, 2021

Phillips says blame for surgery postponements lies with UCP

By Herald on May 14, 2021.

Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips speaks to reporters Friday about the latest postponement of surgeries at Chinook Regional Hospital due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases. Herald photo by Dale Woodard

Dale Woodard – Lethbridge Herald

Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips said the province needs focused leadership to focus on critical problems facing Albertans today.

Responding to the latest postponement of surgeries at the Chinook Regional Hospital due to surging COVID-19 case numbers during a press conference outside the hospital Friday afternoon, Phillips pointed to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s mismanagement of the pandemic response.

In a release Thursday, Alberta Health Services stated “As part of our response to the third wave, AHS announced several weeks ago that it would be postponing scheduled, non-urgent surgeries at a number of hospitals across the province. This allows us to redeploy staff to priority areas, such as ICU. At Chinook Regional Hospital, approximately 30 scheduled, non-urgent surgeries will be postponed per week for the foreseeable future, or about eight per cent of normal volume.”

The statement said the hospital has a baseline of 14 ICU and critical care unit beds, which can accommodate COVID-19 patients, and has the capacity to expand further if needed.

As of Friday there were eight patients with COVID-19 in ICU at Chinook Regional Hospital. In addition, there are five patients without COVID-19 in the ICU.

“Any patients whose surgery is being postponed due to this temporary reduction will be contacted by Alberta Health Services. Our teams continue to contact and investigate all COVID-19 cases within 24 hours – this has been happening since January 9,” the statement reads.

Phillips said the situation means people in southern Alberta – be it family, friends or neighbours – will have to wait to get the help they need.

“So let’s be clear, the strain on the Chinook Regional Hospital is a direct result of the UCP and Mr. Kenney’s policy of acting last and acting least to contain COVID-19 and its effect on our healthcare system and our economy,” said Phillips.

Phillips noted Alberta has the highest infection rate of any Canadian province and anywhere in the United States and more than four times the number of active cases as British Columbia.

She also said they should be back in legislature on Monday to provide paid sick leave for all Albertans to prevent the spread and keep the economy moving.

“We should be providing WCB coverage for essential workers who get COVID in a workplace outbreak. We need focused leadership that is working on the critical problems that are facing Alberta families and businesses today,” said Phillips

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Let me be clear, this is some “story”. Solutions, none, just the usual.


“Let ME be clear”, Ms. Phillips. Dr Deena Henshaw was your governments appointment in Jan 2019.

Kal Itea

Keep your eye “on the ball”, the story is about Covid and should be until the risks are over. Nothing else comes close to this danger.

Southern Albertan

It is glaringly true that we are dealing with the ‘sins’ of the existing government and those of the right wing past. Now, the action of an early short, strict lockdown would have had things opening up by now with many lives and businesses saved. The horse is out of the barn on that one now. Then, this also brings back memories of Lethbridge’s loss of 200 acute care beds with the closing of St. Michael’s General Hospital in the severe Klein health care cutback era, which is still impacting us today. It’s a no brainer to think that those extra acute care beds would have been of great benefit to us today.


To say nothing of the 70 billion debt her crowd added. Tough start for any government

Southern Albertan

There is also the $20-30 billion dollar infrastructure debt that the Klein era left us with, of which we are still struggling to fix….let alone the $multibillions of oil and gas revenue that was squandered during the boom years and the 40 + bumbling Alberta right wing years, by not following Lougheed’s Six Principles for resource development, the biggest flop by any politics in Alberta, by far.


that was to cover what the previous pc needed to do


Sure was pho us. What was the infrastructure need to hire an additional 40,000 public service employees. Just what infrastructure was in deficit. Doing a royalty review and stalling growth for nine months and then changing nothing. The NDP were just as culpable in tanking Alberta as any previous government. Evidence, the NDP hired and resource Tzeporah Berman and had Phillips writing forwards for Mike Hudema. Enough said.


Citi Zen

Ms Phillips, why not pursue something constructive to help the people of Alberta, instead of whining and criticizing the government? They didn’t cause Covid, but perhaps you might support them in their efforts to deal with it.


That would require common sense.

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