Red Deer Minute: Wait Times, Narcotics Transition, and Hospital Expansion Delays

Red Deer Minute: Wait Times, Narcotics Transition, and Hospital Expansion Delays


Red Deer Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Red Deer politics


This Week In Red Deer:

  • Happy Thanksgiving! There are no meetings today as City Hall is observing the holiday. On Tuesday, there will be a City Council meeting at 10:30 am. As usual, the first portion of the meeting will take place in-camera. During this closed-door session, Council will discuss an update on the yet-to-be-named shelter location. Once the meeting opens to the public, Council will hear a funding request for the upcoming Canadian Finals Rodeo, as well as discuss amendments to the Community Standards Bylaw. These amendments address shopping carts, noise, and livestock.

  • The Municipal Planning Commission will meet on Wednesday at 9:00 am. On the agenda is a detached garage permit. After an inspection, it was determined that a homeowner had built a garage 5 inches higher than allowed on their building permit - the homeowner has now applied to have a new Development Permit to take the variance into account and the Commission will decide whether or not this is acceptable. On Thursday, there will be a meeting of the Council Agenda Review Committee. The Committee will meet at 1:00 pm to set the agenda for the upcoming Council meeting.

  • On Saturday, from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, there will be free swimming, skating, badminton, and other activities at the Collicutt Centre in celebration of the City’s winning the title of “Most Active Community in Canada.”


Last Week In Red Deer:

  • Mayor Ken Johnston expressed his disappointment that plans to expand the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre are not further along. Construction on the first phase of the project was supposed to begin in 2021 after a $100 million investment. Additional funding to the tune of $1.8 billion was committed for an eight-year expansion, but Alberta Infrastructure said more work is needed to assess the current and future needs of patients and staff, followed by additional studies about which medical programs are needed most. After all of this, a construction schedule and detailed budget will be developed.

  • A photo posted on Twitter showed a posted wait time of almost 18 hours to see a doctor at the Red Deer hospital. Alberta Health Services said that wait times dropped to 2.5 hours shortly thereafter, and that wait times are a “snapshot in time” and “fluctuate throughout the day.” A September long weekend Tweet showed a wait time of 14 hours. Clearly something is not working.

  • The Province announced that narcotic transition services will be coming to Red Deer. This service is designed to help those with opioid addictions transition from drugs like hydromorphone and fentanyl to conventional medications and recovery-oriented care. Going forward, only AHS clinics will be able to continue offering these high-potency opioids. Those currently prescribing them have a five-month transition period to move patients to other medications or transfer them to a designated Alberta Health Services clinic. The goal is to address the addictions crisis and keep patients and communities safe from high-risk narcotics.




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