Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) President, Mike Parker is asking for three things to help ensure health care is there for Albertans in the fifth wave and beyond.
Edmonton — HSAA professionals have been, and always will be, there when Albertans need care. But the current government needs to help. This past week there were 266 unfilled paramedic shifts and three labs in Edmonton are closed indefinitely due to there not being enough staff. There are over 1000 health care vacancies in Alberta, and steps must be taken to support the health-care professionals we do have.
“When you or a loved one need emergency care, we are there to answer the call for help,” began HSAA President, Mike Parker. “From the team of emergency communications officers who answer the call, assess the situation, and dispatch ambulances – the paramedics rushing to give life-saving aid and get patients to hospitals – the people at the hospital that conduct and interpret tests – the highly skilled scientists in the labs – and the full range of therapists who treat and help with a patient’s recovery… these are our members.
“No matter what we’ve encountered, health-care professionals will always be there for Albertans, but after two incredibly stressful pandemic years, many are struggling to keep going. They need help from this government so they can continue to provide us care.”
HSAA is asking government for three things:
- Protect the physical health of health-care professionals. This includes more than just agreements to provide appropriate PPE – N95 masks must get to all those who work on the front lines of health care.
- Protect the mental health of all health-care professionals. We will continue to be here for Albertans as long as we can. But we need a partner that will live up to its agreements and show compassion to make sure we can do that. Specifically, they need to get days off, have an appropriate workload and not face punishment if they can not come into work.
- A plan to retain and recruit health-care professionals. Ensuring that we don’t lose more health-care professionals to mental or physical illness with the measures above is a good start. But there are over 1000 vacancies, we need to keep the ones we have. The first step is government showing them they are appreciated while providing the supports they need to stay on the job. Alberta also needs a plan to keep our current professionals and to take whatever steps are necessary to attract new recruits from around the globe to fill vacancies.
“HSAA members know who they work for… all Albertans,” continued Parker. “All we want is to be there when people need care. To do it our members need to be rested, they need to know they and their families are safe and that they are supported.”
HSAA is 28,000 health-care professionals dedicated to protecting the public health system and the vulnerable Albertans who rely on it.
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Click Here for attached is the summary of incidents posted on the HSAA EMS Facebook page for the week of January 10 to January 16, 2022.