Watch above: The NDP is ramping up efforts to convince the province to build a new Misericordia Hospital. As Fletcher Kent reports, others are adding their voices to the call.
EDMONTON – The NDP is calling on the Alberta government to make replacing Edmonton’s aging Misericordia hospital more of a priority.
“The PCs’ diversion tactics and band-aid solutions to dealing with infrastructure problems have gone on long enough,” NDP health critic, David Eggen said. “The Misericordia is beyond reasonable repair. It’s time the government listened to Albertans and committed to a new hospital.”
“There comes a point in time where band-aids are no longer going to ebb the flow of blood,” said Daphne Wallace on behalf of the United Nurses of Alberta.
She says she realizes that repairs on the hospital need to be done in the short-term, but points out that it takes a long time to build a hospital and a date should be set.
“When you have staff in tears over the working conditions in a hospital, it’s clear that the Misericordia is no longer a safe working environment for staff, let alone as an environment that promotes healing for patients,” added Marle Roberts with the Alberta branch of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees).
The NDP claims that between January 2013 and February 2014, overcapacity protocol in the hospital was triggered 576 times. The facility has also repeatedly faced problems during heavy rainfalls.
The groups now say enough is enough. They are pushing the government to commit to a new southwest Edmonton hospital.
The PCs have been under fire for some time over the state of the 45-year-old building. Health Minister Fred Horne has admitted that more needs to be done.
“With respect to the Misericordia hospital, government has acknowledged for some time that this facility is nearing the end of its useable life and needs to be replaced,” Horne said.
“In the short term, over $20 million has been invested in critical infrastructure repairs and renovations, and the ministry continues to work with Covenant Health so that it can continue its operations until a new hospital is built.”
The NDP is encouraging Albertans to join its fight for a new southwest Edmonton hospital by signing an online petition.
© Shaw Media, 2014