No decision has yet been made on urgent care centre

Re: No urgent care for Sylvan Lake (Red Deer Advocate, Sept. 26)

Dear Editor:

Re: No urgent care for Sylvan Lake (Red Deer Advocate, Sept. 26)

I would like to assure the community of Sylvan Lake that the assertion that we are not including urgent care in our short and long-term health service planning is incorrect.

We are working with local physicians to track the number of afterhours patients they currently see on a daily basis, if the hours can be expanded, and how we can respond to need, which peaks in the summer and declines during fall and winter.

We continue to work with the community and local health providers on how best to expand services. For example, we are considering an expansion of current community services, including Lab and Diagnostic Imaging, up to 7 days a week.

All of this is part of the Central Zone’s 2013/14 Zone Integrated Plan, being prepared now. And for all of these reasons, no recommendation or decision has been made with respect to an urgent care centre.

Each community has different needs. 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. We are not just looking into the future; we’re also focusing on shorter-term solutions to help address some of the committee’s immediate concerns.

Kerry Bales

Senior Vice President

Alberta Health Services, Central Zone

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