ALBERTA VOTES 2008

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Reporters' Notebook

Treatment in a tent

March 3, 2008 | 08:53 AM
John ArcherJohn Archer

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?

« A pattern emerges | Main | A tight Tory squeeze »

This entry is now Closed. View the comments.

Comments: (1)

Tom Hill (southeast_millwoods_wildrose) wrote:

I believe the conservatives are allowing health care to die, so that private clinics will take over and the "burden" on the government will be reduced - in essence an American system. After 13 years in the US, two health care progressive states, Hawaii and Oregon, we returned to Canada, partly due to health care issues and costs. The government is not listening to the people.
Similarly, the excessively low salaries in social services agencies (25% below government salaries) has resulted in the closer of programs - can't get the staff! Every person not helped due to depleted programs means another unproductive and uncontributing citizen and greater strain on social services, health care and judical programs. Everyone helped becomes a contributing citizen, better for them, better for all of us. Add to this the lack of affordable housing and a population in the richest region of the continent where 1/2 of working adults make minimum wage and we have a formula for spiralling deterioration of social stability and overall quality of life.

In sanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results - what the voters of Albert keep doing!

Posted March 3, 2008 04:12 PM

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