Local doctors form non-profit society to fight for hospital expansion

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
February 22, 2018 - 10:18am Updated: February 28, 2018 - 12:08pm

A group of Red Deer doctors is banding together formally to continue the fight for major expansion of Red Deer Regional Hospital.

The Society for Fair and Transparent Health Funding to Central Alberta has been a year in the making after it says expansion was dropped from the provincial priority list in 2016 with little explanation from either Alberta Health Services or the Government of Alberta.

“Citizens should not have to travel for medical care when it can be safely and reasonably delivered close to home," says Dr. Kym Jim, one of the society's founders. "We want decision-makers to be fully aware that they are being watched and that Central Albertans deserve their tax dollars to be invested locally based on fair and transparent processes."

A public groundswell over nearly two decades of lagging infrastructure and investment in the region is what the physicians are crediting for the society's creation.

The society adds it is non-partisan, non-ideological, and founders believe this is the first society of its kind in Canada.

“Due to a lack of health infrastructure investment in our region dating back many years, Red Deer is in dire need of capital spending to expand the Red Deer Regional Hospital in order to provide care to the over 400,000 people who live in Central Alberta," Jim continues. "We don’t blame current government or Alberta Health Services leaders for our current predicament, but they do have the urgent obligation to fix it."

Jim says Central Albertans are anxious to hear good news and sooner than later.

The society continues to work with Alberta Health Services on updating the most recent expansion plan which was created in 2014.

In addition to Jim, the other founding physicians of the society are doctors Paul Hardy, Keith Wolstenholme, Alan Poole and Cinzia Gaudelli.

The first meeting of the board is 7 p.m. on March 6 at the Baymont Inn. It is open to the public.

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