Surgery volumes exceed pre-pandemic levels
Alberta is now exceeding 100 per cent capacity for surgical volumes and is leading the country in eliminating the COVID-19 surgical backlog.
While all provinces delayed surgeries during the pandemic, Alberta delayed fewer surgeries than other provinces. For example, in the second wave, five to 10 per cent of surgeries were delayed in Alberta compared with between 30 and 60 per cent of surgeries postponed in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.
“As the pandemic recedes, Alberta’s government will be pushing as hard as we can to ensure that any delayed surgeries are completed as fast as possible. Thanks to the incredible dedication of surgical teams in AHS and at chartered surgical facilities, we are getting closer and closer to that goal.”
Through its surgical recovery plan, Alberta expects to recover faster than many other provinces.
The surgical recovery plan is now integrated into the Alberta Surgical Initiative, which will provide all Albertans the surgeries they need within recommended wait times. The initiative is improving and standardizing the entire surgical system from the time patients seek advice from their family doctor, to when they are referred to a specialist, to their surgery and rehabilitation.
“By carefully reducing the number of surgeries being performed in response to the pandemic, we were able to increase capacity in our intensive care units and ensure people with COVID-19 who needed ICU care could receive it. Now, we are able to focus on our surgical recovery plan. I am so proud of our teams who continue to work hard to ensure Albertans have high-quality care.”
- Throughout the 2020-21 fiscal year, surgical teams were able to support surgical activity at about 92 per cent of pre-COVID levels, with more than 268,000 surgeries completed compared with approximately 290,000 in the previous fiscal year.
- About 40,000 surgeries were delayed in Alberta over the past 16 months:
- 25,000 surgeries were delayed in the first wave in the spring of 2020. All delayed surgeries from the first wave have been completed.
- 5,000 surgeries were delayed in the second wave during fall 2020 and early winter 2021. Another 10,000 surgeries were delayed in the third wave beginning in April 2021.
- 95 per cent, approximately 12,000, of these surgeries have been rebooked.
- No emergency or urgent surgeries were delayed or postponed during the pandemic.
- Most cancer surgeries continued during Alberta’s pandemic response.
Fully vaccinated with negative tests in hand, Calgary mom and daughters forced into quarantine on return to Canada
Day 1 – Dec 4, 6:37 PM – Shock and Awe
Day 2 – Dec 5, 11:17 AM = Frustration sets in
Day 3.- Dec 6. 11:22 AM = Canadian Quarantine for Fully Vaccinated Travelers With Negative Covid Tests
Day 4 – Dec 7 – Third Negative Test Results Finally Come After More Than 3 Days.
4 days in quarantine. We left when we got our results. I made a choice to leave after I was unable to contact anyone at either PHAC or the Red Cross who could give us any information about being released by a quarantine office.
This interview was conducted by the CTV in the hours after Tiffany and her children returned home after 4 days in quarantine.
Politicians raise concerns about carbon pricing benefits given to oilsands companies
EDMONTON — Federal and provincial politicians are raising questions about Alberta government support provided to profitable oilsands companies that say carbon pricing hurts their competitiveness.
A recently released Alberta government document lists oilsands producers that have benefitted from a 2018 program designed to soften the blow of carbon pricing for companies whose competitors don’t pay those costs.
The program allows successful applicants to meet reduction targets through a greater emphasis on offsets, apply for emissions reduction grants or simply emit more carbon.
The document shows the only company that has benefitted from the program every year between 2018 and 2020 is Canadian Natural Resources Limited, which declared more than $2 billion in profits in the third quarter of 2021.
Alberta New Democrat environment critic Marlin Schmidt says the province must be more transparent, pointing out the document doesn’t say what benefits CNRL received, how big they were or how they were justified.
Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says his office is looking into how the program was used.
He says if problems are found, it could have an effect on the agreement between Alberta and Ottawa on carbon pricing.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2021.
The Canadian Press
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