Alberta increasing health services and asymptomatic testing

May 25 2020, 4:50 pm

Health services in Alberta are getting a significant bump as of today.

According to a release from the Province of Alberta, health services are being increased to allow for surgeries that require an overnight stay, which had previously been put on hold to allow for COVD-19 capacity.

Albertans who have been waiting the longest for their surgeries during the pandemic will be the first to receive care, according to the release, and will be contacted with information when it is time for their operation.

The release also noted that, since non-essential surgeries resumed on May 4, there have been around 3,000 performed throughout Alberta.

“Albertans have done a great job of flattening the curve of COVID-19 infections and reducing the risk to the dedicated women and men working in our hospitals,” said Alberta’s Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro, in the release.

“As a result, we can safely resume providing more of the scheduled care Albertans need. I know the deferral of scheduled services has been hard on patients and families, but it was the right thing to do as part of our overall strategy to protect Albertans from the impact of the pandemic.”

May 25 also marks an increase in asymptomatic testing in the province, with Alberta’s 27,000 long term care residents and the staff at long term care and level 4 designated supportive living facilities now able to get tested for coronavirus even if they are not showing any symptoms.

Alberta Health Services has also created an extension to their self-assessment tool that will allow Calgarians to book their own coronavirus test so long as they live within 50 km of an assessment centre.

Maternity services at Calgary’s South Health Campus and the High River Hospital will be resumed starting June 3, which had previously been consolidated to other facilities to ensure hospitals had enough capacity for coronavirus.

“Patient safety is our top priority. We are extremely grateful to women and families for their patience during the temporary suspension of maternity services in south Calgary and High River,” said AHS President and CEO Dr. Verna Yiu in the release.

“I want to assure families that hospitals remain a safe place for expectant mothers to deliver, and for mothers and newborns to receive care during the pandemic.”

These services had been consolidated at the Foothills Medical Centre, Rockyview General Hospital, and Peter Lougheed Centre back on April 21.

Chandler WalterChandler Walter

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