Doctor: COVID strain on health care may cause more change in Medicine Hat

Alonzo Osche

Parks also says Medicine Hat is closer to the reality of having critical triage health care.

He says there have already been cases of critical triage COVID care in Alberta, in which health care staff have had to decide who will receive a more effective level of health care.

As an example, he says it could mean deciding which patient is placed on a ventilator.

Parks also says the number of COVID-related patients is rising daily at the Medicine Hat emergency room, with five-to-six being seen per shift.

“This is only the start of the wave so we’re really concerned that without any safety precautions and or whatever people call restrictions … if we don’t implement something province-wide this is going to be a tsunami that will hit the whole province, including Medicine Hat,” Park said.

As part of a restructuring of resources, up to 30 per cent of scheduled surgeries, endoscopy and outpatient visits at Medicine Hat Regional Hospital and Chinook Regional Hospital have been postponed.

“This decision was not taken lightly, however it is a necessary action in order to ensure the South Zone has capacity available for COVID-19 patients who require our care,” an Alberta Health Services statement said.

AHS says there are 30 COVID-19 positive inpatients at Medicine Hat Regional Hospital with nine of those in the ICU. Brooks Health Centre has two.

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