Town Council supports need to expand services at Regional Hospital

Council motioned to send two letters supporting Red Deer City Council

Red Deer City Council is looking to have the Regional Hospital restored to priority list and have the range of services expanded. During the last meeting of the Sylvan Lake Town Council, councillors voted in support of the choice.

The Sylvan Lake councillors recognize the importance of the Regional hospital as it caters to all residents in Central Alberta, said Joanne Gaudet, communications coordinator for the Town.

To show their support the Councillors approved sending two letters, one to the City of Red Deer and one to the provincial government.

“Any issues or improvements [at the Regional Hospital] directly affect us,” Gaudet said. “It is important to show our support.”

Currently the Red Deer Regional Hospital has eight programs that are “operating at or beyond capacity within the Central Zone,” according to a needs assessment for December, 2015.

The current programs listed at capacity or beyond are: emergency services, interventional and procedural services, cardiac science services, maternal child services, ambulatory care services, addiction and mental health series, clinical support services and non-clinical support services.

Gaudet says with the Advanced Ambulatory Care Services opening in May next year some weight will be taken off of the hospital, but that isn’t enough.

“The Advanced Ambulatory Care Services will work for us only if all those other services are in place,” said Gaudet.

Red Deer Regional Hospital is the fourth busiest hospital in the province and see an estimated 350,000 patients from all over Central Alberta.

With the region’s population steadily growing, the Red City Council believes the hospital needs to expand their services “in order to serve the health care needs” of the citizens.

“This is a big, important and critical piece of the puzzle that affects everyone, not just Red Deer,” said Gaudet.

megan.roth@sylvanlakenews.com