Doctor fights to keep Banff obstetric ward open
Government failed to consult with people before making its decision, says lawyer
A court application was filed on Thursday by local doctors asking for a judicial review of the decision to shut down the obstetric ward at the Banff Mineral Springs Hospital.
Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health, which operate the hospital in Banff, announced in December that all obstetrics services would be moved to the hospital in Canmore effective March this year.
Thursday’s court application was filed on behalf of Dr. Ian MacDonald, who works at the Alpine Medical Clinic in Banff.
Dr. Jane Fowke is another doctor behind the applicaiton.
"If the hospital closes on Monday, it takes time but you have detrimental effects to the community," she said. "People think twice about moving into a community when they don't have maternity services, often the number of children in school goes down."
The group's lawyer, Clint Docken, says the government failed to consult with people before making its decision.
"In circumstances where there's a reasonable expectation that there will be consultation, failure to undertake that consultation can lead to court direction that it must take place," Docken said.
MacDonald also says the closure puts pregnant women in Banff at risk.
The application will be heard in court on Monday.