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Alberta

Province adding 50 permanent ICU beds to bring Alberta’s total to 223

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Expanded health capacity to move Alberta forward

Albertans will have more access to critical care beds thanks to a $300-million investment over three years to expand health-care capacity.

Alberta’s government is adding up to 50 permanent, fully staffed intensive care unit (ICU) beds this year alone thanks to a $100-million investment in Budget 2022, an almost 30 per cent increase over current capacity. These beds will expand Alberta’s health-care capacity in order to prevent the system from becoming overwhelmed, a major concern during previous waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of my top priorities as Minister of Health is to build capacity in Alberta’s health system. While AHS was able to add surge capacity when needed during the pandemic, this is not a sustainable or prudent way to plan for the future. Adding up to 50 ICU beds this year alone, plus other ongoing efforts, will give Albertans better access to the health care they need.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Health

The new ICU beds will be distributed in all AHS zones across the province, with location details currently being developed. AHS will provide the government with a plan on where the beds are needed and how they will become fully operational.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, AHS has been able to quickly increase hospital and ICU capacity to meet demand. This is a testament to our incredible health-care workers and a system that is nimble, fluid, and able to evolve to meet the challenge of an ever-changing virus. These additional beds and staffing resources will help us continue to provide the excellent and timely care that all Albertans deserve.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, Alberta Health Services

“Our province needs to have the flexibility to meet our current and future health-care needs and respond to whatever challenges we face. It’s great to hear that my constituents may be able to receive more of their care at home, with Lethbridge as the focus for any new ICU beds added in southern Alberta.”

Nathan Neudorf, MLA for Lethbridge-East

A Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan, created to ensure the health system can respond quickly and proactively to future waves of the pandemic or other health emergencies, recommends 21 capacity building actions, with surgical recovery and ICU and acute care baseline capacity the  immediate priorities. The plan incorporates leading practice and lessons learned from other Canadian and international health systems.

AHS will now formalize a new baseline ICU bed capacity plan that includes detailed reporting mechanisms, appropriate workforce planning, ramp-up strategies and redeployment plans so front-line staff are able to support other parts of the health system when ICUs are not facing pressures.

A surgical recovery plan that builds on the Alberta Surgical Initiative will be announced soon.

Quick facts

  • Prior to COVID-19, Alberta maintained 173 adult general ICU beds in hospitals across the province.
  • The new ICU beds are expected to come on stream in the coming months.
  • EY was contracted to review details of how Alberta’s health system responded to capacity issues during the pandemic, and to compare the practices and lessons learned from other health systems across Canada and around the world. The subsequent Sustainability and Resiliency Action Plan includes recommendations to ensure the health system has the appropriate capacity to respond to potential future waves of COVID-19 and other health situations.
  • The 21 recommended actions in the plan have been developed across six workstreams: workforce; acute, critical care and surgery; primary and community care; governance and decision-making; public health; modelling.
  • A comprehensive review of Alberta’s pandemic response is planned.

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta

CannTrust CEO warned of consequences of unlicensed growing: former compliance worker

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TORONTO — A former director of quality and compliance at CannTrust Holdings Inc. says he warned the company’s chief executive that Health Canada could levy penalties if the firm grew pot in unlicensed rooms at its Niagara, Ont. facility. 

Graham Lee says he told Peter Aceto he wasn’t sure what the exact consequences could be, but knew they were possible because Health Canada had previously issued warning letters and handed out penalties.

For example, Lee said Health Canada checked CannTrust’s inventory every day after it discovered the company using a storage facility at its Vaughan, Ont. location contrary to licensing.

Lee’s comments were made at the Old City Hall courthouse in Toronto, where the Ontario Securities Commission is working to prove Aceto and other execs are guilty of several offences related to unlicensed growing at the Niagara facility.

Aceto, former CannTrust chairman Eric Paul and former vice-chairman Mark Litwin have pleaded not guilty to fraud and authorizing, permitting or acquiescing in the commission of an offence.

Litwin and Paul are also facing insider trading charges, and Litwin and Aceto are charged with making a false prospectus and false preliminary prospectus.

The men no longer work for CannTrust and their lawyers are arguing their clients are all innocent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Kadri’s winner halts Coyotes’ comeback effort as Flames earn 3-2 victory

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By Darren Haynes in Calgary

Nazem Kadri scored the game-winning goal at 15:42 of the third period and added two assists to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Monday.

Dillon Dube and Elias Lindholm also scored for Calgary (12-10-3), which has won five of its last six games at the Saddledome. Jonathan Huberdeau chipped in a pair of assists.

Shayne Gostisbehere and Jeff Chychrun each had a goal and an assist for Arizona (7-12-4), which has won just one of its last 10 (1-6-3).

Dan Vladar, starting for the fifth time in the last seven games, made 18 stops to even his record at 4-4-1.

Karel Vejmelka had 24 stops for the Coyotes in falling to 6-7-3.

Down 2-1 to start the third period, Arizona tied it at 5:50 when Chychrun snapped a shot over Vladar’s shoulder. It was Chychrun’s third goal in seven games since the defenceman returned from a wrist injury that sidelined him the first six weeks of the season.

But nine minutes later, Chychrun took a tripping penalty that proved to be costly.

Calgary regained the lead as Tyler Toffoli neatly set up Kadri, who notched his team-leading ninth goal of the season.

The Flames finished the night a perfect 2-for-3 on the power play, after having been in a slump, going 2-for-21 over the previous seven games.

Arizona went 0-for-2 on the man advantage.

Fuelled by back-to-back power plays early in the first period, Arizona held a 7-1 edge in shots at the 13-minute mark of the first period before Calgary started to tilt the ice in its favour.

After an extended stretch of pressure in the Coyotes’ end, Dube opened the scoring deflecting a Chris Tanev point shot at 14:13 of the frame for his fifth goal of the season and fourth goal in his last eight games.

Just under three minutes later, Lindholm netted a power-play marker for his ninth of the campaign.

The Flames piled up 15 shots in a row before the Coyotes, having gone over 15 minutes without testing Vladar, finally directed a puck on the Calgary net seven minutes into the second.

With Vejmelka keeping the visitors within two, Arizona cut its deficit in half at 13:53 of the second. Rookie right-winger Matias Maccelli sent a drop pass to Gostisbehere whose shot found its way through a couple of screens and in off Vladar’s arm.

HOMECOMING WEEK

Coyotes defenceman Juuso Valimaki, selected 16th overall in the 2017 draft, is the fourth Flames first-round pick to play against Calgary during its homestand. He follows Matthew Tkachuk (2016) and Sam Bennett (2014) with Florida on Tuesday and Sean Monahan (2013) with the Canadiens on Thursday.

ROOKIE RISING

Maccelli’s assist extends the 22-year-old’s point streak to four games (one goal, five assists). It’s also his 15th helper on the season, which leads all rookies. Maccelli is second in rookie scoring behind Seattle’s Matty Beniers.

UP NEXT

Coyotes: Having not played at home since Nov. 3, Arizona’s stretch of 14 straight games on the road concludes on Wednesday in Edmonton.

Flames: Wrap up their five-game homestand on Wednesday against Minnesota.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2022.

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