The Alberta NDP launched an online petition Wednesday calling on the government to build a new hospital in southwest Edmonton to replace the aging Misericordia.
“We’re calling on all Albertans to go to this website, sign the petition, and declare that we want a new hospital now in southwest Edmonton,” said NDP health critic David Eggen.
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Eggen was joined at the news conference by representatives of unions representing workers at the Misericordia.
Earlier this month, flooding caused by a thunderstorm forced the hospital to postpone surgeries for 300 patients. A similar problem occurred in February 2013.
Marle Roberts, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Alberta, said that workers have had to spend time dealing with problems caused by the last flooding incident.
“They had to move maternity, they had to move people in surgery, that takes extra time which takes away from patient care,” she said.
Health Minister Fred Horne has acknowledged that the Misericordia needs to be replaced, but has given no timeframe for when it will happen. He said a plan for Edmonton hospitals is coming this fall.
Eggen and the union leaders say the provincial government needs to make a commitment now.
“We’d feel a whole lot better patching together, making do with the old Miz , if we know a new one’s coming,” Eggen said.