Alberta accepts bid for private hip-knee surgical clinic on First Nation land
By Dean Bennett in Edmonton
The Alberta government has approved a bid by the Enoch Cree Nation near Edmonton to build a private clinic to perform thousands of publicly covered hip and knee surgeries.
Health Minister Jason Copping says the clinic is to be built by the middle of next year to reduce a backlog of orthopedic operations in and around the capital.
The clinic will be a partnership between the Enoch Cree and Surgical Centres Inc., a private operator that runs seven clinics in Canada, including two in Calgary.
Alberta Health says the partners will be responsible for building and equipment costs, while surgeries themselves are to be covered by public funds.
Copping says there are almost 23,000 Albertans waiting for orthopedic surgeries, one-third of those for knee replacements.
Enoch Cree Chief Billy Morin says the centre will offer culturally appropriate care as well.
“When an Indigenous person from High Level comes here, they’re going to get not just the fancy building with the nice Indigenous pictures,” Morin said Wednesday.
“They’re going to get a new experience where they’re going to have a Dene person talking to them. They’re going to have traditional healing and medicine right here on the First Nation offered to them as well — and to all Albertans, quite frankly, if they want to go down that road, too.”
It’s expected the clinic will perform up to 3,000 orthopedic procedures a year, an estimated 17 per cent increase in the Edmonton region.
Copping said more than half of all Alberta orthopedic patients are on hold for surgery beyond recommended wait times.
“People are waiting far too long for hip and knee replacements. We need to do a lot more of them and this is going to help us get it done.”
Copping said the project is modelled on cataract and other eye procedures done under public care in private clinics to reduce wait lists.
The total surgical wait list is pegged at just over 70,000.
Copping said having the work done through public clinics saves money, but the Opposition NDP said it’s actually more expensive and inefficient in the long run.
“The UCP has provided no reason why new surgery facilities cannot be built in and operated in the public system,” said health critic David Shepherd.
“The UCP’s surgical initiative provides public dollars to help private companies profit, while deliberately neglecting Alberta’s public health care.
“The UCP’s mismanagement of health care and neglect of the public system has caused partial closures in more than 20 hospitals across Alberta.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 1, 2022.
Flames bounce back with 5-1 victory over Ducks
Calgary Flames right wing Tyler Toffoli (73) celebrates with goaltender Dan Vladar (80) after the Flames defeated the Anaheim Ducks in an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Tuesday, March 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)
By Joe Reedy in Anaheim
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Tyler Toffoli had three assists, Calgary scored twice on the power play and the Flames bounced back from a six-goal loss one night earlier with a 5-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.
Toffoli has nine points in the past four games, including six assists.
Nick Ritchie, Troy Stecher, Rasmus Andersson, Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane scored Calgary’s goals. Mikael Backlund had a pair of assists and Dan Vladar stopped 19 shots for the Flames, who rebounded from an 8-2 defeat Monday night in Los Angeles.
“We just wanted to put that game behind us. And there’s no better way to put it behind you than to just go out there and play right away,” said Mangiapane, who scored on a breakaway with less than five minutes remaining for his 12th of the season. “I think the first period set the tone for us. We wanted to come out strong and hard and just keep building off of that.”
The win kept Calgary four points behind Winnipeg for the final wild-card berth in the Western Conference with 10 games remaining after the Jets beat Arizona 2-1.
“As a coach it is really simple: I just want to keep every game meaningful,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said.
Frank Vatrano scored Anaheim’s lone goal. John Gibson made 38 saves, facing more than 40 shots for the 20th time this season.
“We knew that they were going to be a little ornery after their game last night against L.A., and other than a few spurts in the second period, maybe for about six minutes in the second, we couldn’t sustain much. Every time we turned, they were in our face,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said.
Calgary has 12 goals with the man advantage over the past month, which is fifth best in the NHL.
Andersson put Calgary up 3-0 less than three minutes into the third period on a one-timer off Toffoli’s pass. It was Andersson’s 11th goal and his third in the past six games.
The Flames grabbed the lead 37 seconds into the game when Ritchie put in the rebound after Gibson made a pad save on Noah Hanifin’s shot from the point. Ritchie’s 12th of the season marked the sixth time Calgary has scored in the opening minute.
Stecher broke a 90-game goal drought at 16:50 of the first with a snap shot from the right faceoff circle to the high side of the far post. Stecher — whose last goal was on Feb. 17, 2022 — has three points (one goal, two assists) since being acquired from Arizona at the trade deadline.
Anaheim got on the board five minutes later when Vatrano lifted a wrist shot over Vladar’s shoulder on his glove side. Vatrano’s 17th marked only the second goal in Anaheim’s last 15 power-play opportunities.
Lindholm scored his 21st and gave Calgary a 4-1 lead 46 seconds into the third on a one-timer.
Hanifin extended his point streak to six games with the first assist on Ritchie’s goal. He has six points (two goals, four assists) during that span. … Calgary defenceman Chris Tanev was scratched an hour before the game due to an upper-body injury. … Anaheim forward Nikita Nesterenko made his NHL debut. Nesterenko was acquired from Minnesota in the John Klingberg trade at the deadline. Nesterenko played three seasons at Boston College and signed a two-year, entry-level contract last Wednesday.
Flames: Open a three-game homestand against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.
Ducks: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.
2022 World Senior Men’s gold medalist rink and Cheryl Bernard among teams at Senior Curling Championships at Red Deer’s Pidherney Centre this week
The 2023 Alberta Servus Credit Union Senior Men’s and Women’s Championships will take place at Red Deer’s Pidherney Centre on March 21 to 26.
Thirty-three rinks are on hand to vie for the right to represent Alberta at the Men’s and Women’s Canadian Championships next fall.
The 2022 World Senior’s gold medalists, Team Wade White looks to add yet another championship title to his name alongside teammates, third Barry Chwedoruk, second Dan Holowaychuk and lead George White. While defending Alberta champion, Team Pahl will keep the pressure on to represent Alberta once again.
Other noteworthy names on the men’s side include, Mickey Pendergast; Master’s Provincial Champion and former teammate of local legend, Rob Armitage, and 2017 Senior’s Champion, Glen Hansen.
The talent continues on the women’s side with nine of the top senior women’s teams in the province.
The star studded line-ups include Olympians, Cheryl Bernard, Carolyn McRorie, Sandra Jenkins and Shannon Kleibrink forming a team under Bernard, and Glenys Bakker and Atina Ford-Johnston skipping their own rinks, with Cory Morris joining Ford-Johnston as lead.
With defending champion, Diane Foster, out of the race, it truly is anyone’s title to claim.
Draws run throughout the week with the semi-finals of both the women and men at 9 am on Sunday March 26 followed by the finals at 2 pm.
Admission is free thanks to support from Servus Credit Union.
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