Edmonton

'State of crisis': Canadian Medical Association calls for lockdowns in Alberta and Saskatchewan

The Canadian Medical Association is calling for lockdowns in Alberta and Saskatchewan to protect their "crumbling" health-care systems.

Health systems suffering from relaxed restrictions, says national association

As of the update on Sept. 28, 1,100 people in Alberta are being treated for COVID in hospital, 263 of whom were in intensive care beds. (Kyle Green/The Associated Press)

The Canadian Medical Association is calling for lockdowns in Alberta and Saskatchewan to protect their "crumbling" health-care systems.

Both western provinces are setting hospitalization records for COVID-19, with intensive care capacity running slim.

Dr. Katharine Smart, president of the national association, is urging the federal and provincial governments to take immediate action.

The association is calling for short, controlled lockdowns, often called "firebreakers" or "circuit-breakers," which would close schools and non-essential businesses.

Time for 'courageous action': CMA president

It also wants mandatory vaccinations in health-care settings and an increase in the mobility of health workers and intensive care capacity between provinces.

Smart says it's time for "courageous action" and politics must be put to the side to allow for collaboration between levels of government.

"We are now witnessing an unprecedented health-care crisis in Alberta and Saskatchewan — and patients and health workers are experiencing unfathomable choices and consequences," Smart said in a statement Wednesday.

"Early relaxation of public health measures has left two crumbling health-care systems in their wake and the dire realities are now in full view.

"What is happening is as heartbreaking as it was preventable. We are now in a situation where it's all hands on deck to address the state of crisis."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now