On Friday, an open letter from prominent Alberta physicians asked the province to share its predictive model for the fourth wave of a pandemic that is paralyzing Alberta’s health care system, criticizing the government’s “cold-blooded” handling of the pandemic.
Co-written by Drs. James Talbot, Alberta’s former chief medical officer for health, and Noel Gibney, former head of the intensive care department at the province’s health authority in Edmonton, the letter questioned the pattern that led the provincial government to reject the prime minister’s assistance. Newfoundland and Labrador, Andrew Furey, who they say is “much needed and welcome.”
“Like most Albertans, we would like to know how long the fourth wave will last, how many more Albertans are projected to die, and when we can expect elective surgeries to begin and ICUs to return to normal.” the letter said.
Based on the predictive model of Professor Dean Karlen of the University of Victoria, the letter notes that Alberta’s fourth wave will peak in mid-October, but ICU admissions will continue to rise through the end of the month.
By not sharing its own predictive model, the doctors argue, the government denied Albertans the opportunity to make good decisions and protect themselves.
In stark contrast to Alberta Prime Minister Jason Kenney’s promise of a “best summer ever,” the letter notes that the fourth death wave marked the “last summer of all time” for 350 Albertans and more who continue to die from the disease.
Doctors recommend seven medium- and short-term actions to reduce the province’s case count, including patient transfers to ICU facilities in Ontario, use of vaccine passports and employment mandates to increase vaccines, renewed contact tracing efforts and measures to prevent indoor transmission. .
Even with the enhanced capacity of Alberta’s ICU, doctors say the province does not have enough trained professionals to care for critically ill patients, making a “firewall” crucial to reducing transmission.
more to come …