Health minister, top doctor to announce action to reduce pressure on Alberta hospitals

EDMONTON –

Alberta’s health minister and top doctor will speak about the growing pressure on the province’s health-care system due to COVID-19, which will see hundreds of non-urgent surgeries postponed this week.

Minister Tyler Shandro and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw are expected to make an announcement about the province’s efforts to reduce that pressure. Alberta Health Services CEO Dr. Verna Yiu will also be there. 

Watch the announcement live at 3:30 p.m. on CTVNewsEdmonton.ca.

Several doctors believe the system is on the verge of collapse.

Alberta Health Services, the province’s health-care provider, said on Wednesday there were 258 intensive care beds in the province, which includes 85 added spaces. It said intensive care unit capacity sat at 87 per cent – just slightly below a seven-day average of 91 per cent.

That same day, AHS postponed all scheduled elective surgeries and many outpatient procedures for the remainder of the week at Calgary hospitals while it needed to shuffle staff to handle an increase in COVID-19 ICU patients.

Postponements in the Edmonton zone are expected to increase up to 50 per cent.

On Wednesday, the province reported 18 COVID-19-related deaths and 1,166 new cases. According to the latest data, there were 647 Albertans in hospital with the disease, 147 of whom were in the ICU.

With files from The Canadian Press 

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