UNA Second VP Daphne Wallace calls for new Edmonton hospital
By United Nurses of AlbertaJuly 30, 2014 13:19
UNA Second Vice-President Daphne Wallace and NDP MLA David Eggen call for work to begin on a new hospital to replace the Misericordia Hospital in west Edmonton
United Nurses of Alberta Second Vice-President Daphne Wallace joined leaders of other health care unions at a morning news conference at the Legislature organized by the Alberta NDP to call for work to begin on a new hospital to replace the Misericordia Hospital in West Edmonton.
“The Misericordia Community Hospital has been there for a long time, and Covenant Health and the staff work very hard to maintain proper conditions,” Wallace told the news conference. “But the city is growing, capacity is shrinking and the hospital is falling apart. We need a new Mis now!”
The physical state of the Misericordia hospital, which was opened at its present site in 1969, is well known. Wallace recounted some of the recent stories of flooding in heavy rain storms, non-functional elevators, holes in the floor of a delivery room that cause both health and safety hazards, and temperatures in some wards so high staff and patients have been reduced to tears.
In addition, said Wallace, like almost all hospitals in Alberta, the facility is regularly in a state of overcapacity, a problem that became particularly severe after the cutbacks to public health care by the Klein Government in the mid-1990s.
“We can no longer look at just putting Band-Aids on it,” she told a reporter, adding that both the age-caused physical problems with the building and its regular bouts of overcapacity put both patient and staff health at risk.
The New Democrats launched the public campaign yesterday calling for an immediate commitment from the provincial government to build a new hospital in the city’s west end.
New Democrat Health Critic David Eggen noted at the news conference that between January 2013 and February 2014, the Misericordia hospital’s overcapacity protocol was triggered 576 times. “The government needs to make a responsible decision and commit to building a fully functioning hospital that has enough space to accommodate our province’s growing population,” he said.
“The Mis has served the community very well,” said Wallace. “It’s time now to plan for the future.
“It’s important that as we progress with plans, there’s input from front-line workers like nurses,” she added.
The campaign calls for the government to make a public commitment to building a new Edmonton Hospital in the area to replace the Misericordia, and to establish an expert planning committee now to start working on plans.
Ordinary Albertans can make their voices heard by visiting www.newmisnow.ca and signing the petition for a new hospital in West Edmonton.