Treatment in a tent
March 3, 2008 | 08:53 AM
Could there be a worse election day story for Conservative hopefuls in Edmonton? The emergency room at the University of Alberta Hospital is so jammed, Capital Health is resorting to a measure that seems bizarre. They're setting up a triage tent to treat patients (most of them expected to be children who have the flu).
On one hand, props to Capital Health. They've come up with a unique and innovative way to deal with the overflowing ER waiting times. Of course, the tent will be warm and sanitary and will help get people on their way faster than waiting around with a whole bunch of other sick people.
But when you look at it politically, the optics are not good at all. Alberta has had multi-billion dollar surpluses for years. The population boom continues seemingly without end. And now people heading to the emergency room may not even be treated indoors.
If I'm a Tory candidate in Edmonton today, I'm worried how this may play out at the polls.
There were a number of tight margins in the election in 2004 and there has been plenty of confidence coming from Tory party strategists in the waning days of the campaign. Now, on election day, comes news that one of the main hospitals in the capital has to go to the lengths of setting up a tent outdoors in the winter to treat children who have the flu.
Why is this happening in Alberta?