June 24th, 2024

Obstetric care on the ropes: NDP

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on October 25, 2022.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman NDP leader Rachel Notley, along with Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips, and local birth doula Vicki Todd, talk to reporters Monday about the shortage of obstetric and birthing care in Lethbridge.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

NDP leader Rachel Notley joined Lethbridge-West MLA Shannon Phillips and local birth doula Vicki Todd on Monday to talk about the shortage of obstetric and birthing care in Lethbridge.

Lethbridge currently only has one OBGYN serving the entire community of 100,000 people and surrounding area.

Notley expressed her concern for expectant parents who are living with the stress of not knowing if the care they need to deliver their child safely will be available to them, and told the media that an NDP government would address the issue.

“Delivering babies is one of the most basic functions of a hospital, and we can get just how much damage the UCP has caused when those basic functions begin to fail. So I am committed to addressing the crisis in healthcare, so people can get the health care that they need in their community,” said Notley.

Notley outlined her plan to work collaboratively with health-care workers, stabilize hospitals, get resources back to the front lines, and launch the largest health-care recruiting campaign Alberta has ever seen.

“The fact is it just can’t go on like this. These workers and all Albertans deserve better than a government that’s fixated on firing people and has literally no idea about how to hire them,” said Notley.

She said that an Alberta NDP government will end the chaos in our hospitals and bring real resources to the front line.

Phillips acknowledged the work health care workers are doing in Lethbridge and expressed the need for immediate action.

“This is not the fault of healthcare workers, physicians or others who work in our healthcare system. It is the fault of a UCP government that has combatively attacked healthcare and pushed the system to the brink. This must be urgently addressed,” said Phillips.

She said families in Lethbridge should have the certainty that they will have all the care they need to have their baby right here in southern Alberta.

Todd echoed Phillips’ words on the need for action as the state of obstetric care and gynaecology care in the city is worrisome.

She said that the number one reason for hospital admission is child birth and the number one performed surgery is cesarean section.

“Last year Lethbridge and area families gave birth to more than 1000 babies, and as of this month there is only one OBGYN for the entire population,” said Todd.

She said that as of June there was seven OBGYN, but since then two of them have gone on maternity leave and others have simply left, leaving only one OBGYN currently practicing in the city.

That is only one part of the healthcare workers shortage. Phillips said there is currently 40,000 people in Lethbridge and region who do not have access to a family doctor.

“That means that families have nowhere to go but the emergency room. That adds to wait times for EMS frontline services, for ambulances and of course in our hospitals,” said Phillips.

Notley acknowledge the efforts of healthcare workers in Lethbridge.

“I fully believe that the health care workers here in Lethbridge are doing everything they can… They’re working in an unbelievably stressful situation and they are trying very hard to continue to provide the maternal healthcare the people of this community need,” said Notley.

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In 2019 after being criticised for a campaign style event held in the CRH Atrium then NDP Health Minister Hoffman pleadged the NDP would thereafter refrian from this type of conduct.. Seems memories are short in the NDP and they are hopeful that in addition to forgetting this pledge we forget a lot of the damage they inflicted on this Province.
Perhaps one day, though I doubt it, the NDP will come to understand that “Opposition Party” means more than having the Screecher and the Whiner mount a podium at every opportunity, but includes and element of useful and functional alternatives being proposed. Darn little of that from the Dippers.

In the meantime, stay the heck out of the Hospital unless you are sick.