On Saturday, December 13, 2014, the Edmonton Journal published an editorial by AAMDC President Al Kemmere about the hidden benefits of rural hospitals in Alberta. Between the first and fifth of December, the Edmonton Journal published a series of articles and features on the state of Alberta’s hospitals called Condition: Critical. The series exposed the current state of some health facilities and identified the process that determines which hospitals receive funding for repairs and maintenance. At the conclusion of the series, the authors recommended closing several rural hospitals based on low traffic and occupancy levels.

President Kemmere’s editorial countered that rationale by highlighting the hidden benefits of rural hospitals including improved health outcomes and their positive economic and social influence in rural Alberta. Rural hospitals help attract quality health care professionals, attract new residents and stimulate economic development. As an alternative to hospital closure, rural hospitals could be focused towards innovate ways to reduce stresses within the current healthcare system such as reducing wait times for routine surgeries such and knee and hip replacements. This is currently being done in hospitals in Westlock and Wetaskawin but could be expanded.

To read the entire editorial, click here. For further AAMDC analysis of Condition: Critical, click here.

Enquiries may be directed to:

Matt Dow

Policy Analyst

780.955.4085

Kim Heyman

Director, Advocacy & Communications

780.955.4079

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