July 15th, 2024

New ICU beds won’t fix broken system, says Phillips

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on May 14, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

As Premier Jason Kenney announced the opening of 19 permanent ICU beds across the province Friday morning, NDP MLA for Lethbridge-West and Critic for Finance Shannon Phillips responded shortly after.
“The sight of Jason Kenney standing in front of unstaffed beds hastily pushed into an unfinished room really tells the story of healthcare under the UCP,” said Phillips during a press conference from outside the Rockyview Hospital in Calgary.
According to the government of Alberta website, Alberta Health Services has opened and staffed 19 of 50 permanent intensive care unit (ICU) beds supported by $100 million this year from Budget 2022. The remaining 31 beds are expected to open by the end of September.
“We promised to build a stronger health-care system for Albertans and we are delivering on that promise. More ICU beds will bring peace of mind to care teams and will give doctors and nurses the space and capacity to surge care up and down, depending on demand. Our historic investment in health care is building a sustainable health-care system for today and tomorrow,” said Kenney during the announcement.
But Phillips disagrees with that statement, saying the UCP’s disrespect for frontline health workers has created a profound crisis in healthcare.
“Today’s announcement will not fix any of the damage Kenney has caused to our health care system and it’s very clear once again that Albertans cannot trust the UCP with their healthcare. We need a new government and a new approach,” said Phillips.
Phillips listed some of that areas affected by the UCP decisions which include ambulance being backed up at hospital’s parking lots, 21 communities in Alberta where their hospitals are partially closed due to staff shortages.
“The UCP war on frontline professionals has created a profound crisis in healthcare,” said Phillips.
Phillips said in Edmonton there are dangerously long wait times for children at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, in Calgary children and parents were lining up outside to even get a seat in the waiting room at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
“People across the province are losing doctors, but most egregiously in my hometown of Lethbridge. There are more than 43,000 Albertans who do not have a family doctor,” said Phillips.
She said that after the last clinic closed in Lethbridge in November, she called on the UCP to produce a plan to fix this and six months later they have done nothing.

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Yawn…another screed from Screamin’ Shannon professing that only the NDP have all the answers and that anything done by the UCP is by definition ” wrong”. If we were all so simple as Shannon would wish the NDP would not have been handed their butts in the last election and shown the door. Four years of NDP made clear to us that you are capable of criticism but not of governance. Hopefully the next election will relegate St Rachel to the status of a 2 time loser and allow the NDP to redefine itself into a relevant and useful opposition party, with Screamin’ Shannon looking in from the outside .
As an aside, if you want to offer tips to ” fix” the medical system, look to AHS and the AMA . AHS is a hole into which endless sums of $$$ are dumped and little change of substance is seen, save for more bureaucrats and bureaucracy [ but then, these are mainly union folks and we know the NDP believe they can do no wrong ]. Dr availability is equally hampered by AMA ” rules” on accreditation designed to exercise monopoly control over supply. The UCP is an easy target for the NDP, particularly on those things they cannot touch without being criticised by that self same NDP for being ” heavy handed”.

Give some thiught to the above Shannon..you are long on criticism, short on ideas and it would not hurt to expand your repetiore a wee bit.


Whether one is partisan or non-partisan, the current Alberta medical crisis is grounded in historical political decisions made by Conservative governments in this province. When half of the population of this City are without a primary care physician, when folks are forced to line up to the street at the local Emergency Department, when other folks are forced to drive over two hours to now attend a family physician and when no family physicians are available anywhere regardless of how far and how long one is forced to drive or commute, having the Premier stand in front of empty ICU beds delivering empty promises is just another of the ideological plans of this government to privatize all and sundry for the benefit of the coporate world, the health of Albertans and the livelihood of medical professionals who want to meet their needs be damned!
Brief historical overview:
During the tenure of Progressive Conservative Premier Ralph Klein, who served from 1992 to 2006 Alberta’s healthcare system was redesigned. Deep cuts were made in provincial health representing health cuts per capita declining from C$1,393 in 1992 to $1,156 in 1995. Under the 1994 Regional Health Authorities Act, 17 regional health authorities were created, replacing hundreds of local boards of directors of hospitals, long-term care and public health services. At the same time, Klein established provincial health authorities for cancer, mental health and addiction services. Per capita spending on health was cut from CA $1,393 in 1992 to $1,156 in 1995. By 1994, the health department’s responsibilities “were limited to overall healthcare policy, providing direction to the healthcare system and regional health authorities, and setting standards for service providers.” The department was dissolved in 1999 and replaced by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.  Under Progressive Conservative Premier Ed Stelmach, who served from December 2006 to October 2011, major reforms to Alberta’s health-care system were introduced.
On May 15, 2008, then-Health Minister Ron Liepert, announced the creation of “Canada’s first province-wide, fully integrated health system”.—Alberta Health Services became a quasi-independent agency of the Alberta government with a mandate to public health services throughout the province. The AHS brought “together 12 formerly separate health entities in the province including three geographically based health authorities, Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC), Alberta Mental Health Board and Alberta Cancer Board.On April 1, 2009, through the Health Governance Transition Amendment Act, the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC), Alberta Mental Health Board and Alberta Cancer Board, were dissolved. As well, the Act consolidated the $13-billion-a-year system with its nine regional health authority boards— Aspen Health Region, Calgary Health Region, Capital Health Region, Chinook Health Region, David Thompson Health Region, East Central Health Region, Northern Lights Health Region, Palliser Health Region, and Peace Country Health Region into one provincial governance board, a public corporation.


Always amazes me when the dippers beat up a
dead guy. Classless


The sight and voice of Shannon Phillips standing in the Legislature and elsewhere spewing misinformation, regarding ICU permanent beds been added, needs clarification.The UCP respect long term front line workers and agree with them that the AHS management with their high incomes is the problem, when these high wage amounts, just take away from the front line workers.
As for the long wait times for surgeries, under the previous NDP, there were longer wait times. Where are the stats for the 40,000-43,000 Albertans who do not have a family Doctor? Is she not aware that it is not only Alberta that has a Doctor shortage? The BC NDP is experiencing the same situation. No wonder Premier Horgan dropped the F BOMB when challenged in the Legislature. “Do you Ms. Phillips have a point, or do you just like to hear your own voice?”
It might be beneficial if Albertans listened and watched sessions in the AB. Legislature. They will hear Rachel the Heckler perform. On the positive side, all questions are answered and explained by the UCP Caucus to the Negative Divisive Persons.
I would suggest also, that it is Phillip’s egregious conduct that should be noted. ALBERTANS SIMPLY CAN’T TRUST HER.


I saw an article where there’s 900 K without a doctor in NDP lotus land next door. If I was Horgan I would be dropping f bombs over how to fix the issue rather than doing
what Phillips continually does. Blame someone else. She is the epitome of divisiveness.

Citi Zen

Phillips, yada yada yada. More popcorn please…..


Oh my God shannon give it up why don’t you and your boss’s go for an extended holiday and quit whining about everything at least the UCP are trying to be equal and fair to all parties evolved not just the unemployed and whiners