Lobbying continues for urgent care in Sylvan Lake

When Leslie Vidok lost his footing and fell on the steps between his garage and his home a few weeks ago, the pain was excruciating.

When Leslie Vidok lost his footing and fell on the steps between his garage and his home a few weeks ago, the pain was excruciating.

But, because it was Saturday and he didn’t want to bother his family doctor with a minor injury he suffered through the weekend without seeking medical attention.

A visit to the doctor early Monday morning resulted in X-rays and imaging tests being completed. He was later sent to an orthopedic surgeon in Edmonton and treated for a ruptured Achilles tendon and fitted for a cast.

Vidok, who ran unsuccessfully for council in the fall election, said urgent care was one of the planks of his platform.

“I always supported urgent care,” he said.” Now I have fallen through the cracks myself.”

He said he would have gone to an urgent care facility immediately when he injured himself if such a facility was available. The primary reason he did not go to the emergency department at Red Deer Hospital is because he knows they are already overloaded with patients.

“My daughter is a nurse there,” he said. “It’s very busy.”

Vidok is one of hundreds of Sylvan Lake and area residents who would like to see an urgent care center in Sylvan Lake.

Residents led by an enthusiastic and determined urgent care committee continue to fight for such a facility, a health care need which they say is long overdue in Sylvan Lake.

Recently, it seemed Alberta Health Services, despite the public outcry, had, once again, turned a deaf ear.

However, conflicting reports have surfaced.

Samson told counselors at their Sept. 24 meeting that AHS has made it clear that urgent care for Sylvan Lake was not to be included in a Central Alberta Zone Integrated Plan to be released in November.

Since that time Kerry Bales, senior vice president of Alberta Health Services, Central Zone has said the assertion that Sylvan Lake is not being included in the short and long-term health service planning is incorrect.

“We will continue working with the Urgent Care Committee to find a solution that is right for Sylvan Lake and all of the communities we serve and will have recommendations this year,” she said in a letter to the editor.

Samson said the proof as to what Sylvan Lake receives, if anything, will be in the Zone Integrated Plan.

“Show me the ZIP. There is no sense in having a battle of words.”

Meanwhile Samson encourages the public to continue to write to the health minister and premier urging them to make urgent care a priority.

“We will continue to lobby until we get an urgent care,” she said.

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