Alberta announces increased health-care services for Sylvan Lake and area

File Photo of the Alberta Health Services Office in Calgary AB, March 2016. Laurel Gregory/ Global News
 The Alberta government announced plans to expand health-care services to residents of Sylvan Lake and its surrounding areas on Monday.

Among the changes being introduced by the province are extended hours for medical care, including treatment for injuries such as basic fractures, for up to 16 hours a day, seven days a week.

“This is wonderful news for the people of Sylvan Lake and surrounding area. For years, this community was promised increased health services by the previous government and nothing was delivered.” Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said in a statement.

“Despite the drop in oil prices, our government has chosen to protect and strengthen patient care,” she added. “Today’s announcement is a reflection of our commitment to that.”

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The mayor of Sylvan Lake, Sean McIntyre, said he was delighted by the announcement and grateful the province listened to concerns that been expressed by residents.

“Today, the provincial government has proven that not only did they hear us, but they’ve listened,” he said in a statement. “Today, Sylvan Lake and area – a population of around 25,000 – can celebrate, and breathe a sigh of relief because we will have access to the health and medical services we need.”

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The province said changes to health-care services in the region were the result of teamwork between the government, Alberta Health Services and the Sylvan Lake joint task force – a group that included members of the Urgent Care Committee, municipal leaders, local physicians and representatives of the Wolf Creek Primary Care Network.

The new health-care services will be provided at the Sylvan Lake Community Health Centre and will include support for laboratory and diagnostic-imaging services. The centre is set to undergo renovations this spring with the expanded services becoming available in 2018.

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