Doctors group say UCP MLA showed ‘abysmal lack of understanding’ about public health system in comments about AHS

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A group of Edmonton doctors is calling for a UCP MLA to apologize and resign for their public criticism of the Alberta provincial health authority.

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On Saturday, UCP MP Shane Getson took to Facebook to assert that Albertans should “get more of our money” from the healthcare system as we deal with the current wave of COVID-19.

The MLA for Lac Ste. Anne-Parkland pointed to the salaries of “those who run AHS,” suggesting in positions that the province had the ability to increase ICU beds by more than 1,000, a number referenced by the Prime Minister Jason Kenney at the beginning of the pandemic.

As COVID-19 continues to put great pressure on the province’s intensive care units, dozens of doctors from the Edmonton Area Medical Staff Association signed a Monday open letter to Kenney apologizing and adding that Getson’s resignation would be “an appropriate way” for him to show regret.

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Doctors said Getson’s comments amounted to a “malicious” personal attack on AHS CEO and President Verna Yiu, showing “an abysmal lack of understanding about our health and public health system” and spreading harmful misinformation.

“MLA Getson claims that 1,000 ICU beds is a magical thought. He doesn’t understand that tripling the number of ICU beds to 1,000 ICU beds takes time, money, space, and immediately tripling the experienced and well-trained staff, which is an illusion, ”the letter read, adding that Alberta Health did not. . lead AHS to reach 1,000 ICU beds before the fourth wave.

Defending AHS’s efforts, he also blamed the government for the increase in COVID-19 cases, accusing Kenney of betting on the stability of the health system and people’s lives in the belief that his reopening plan would not lead. to an increase in hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

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“Your bet, Prime Minister, resulted in an increase in cases and hospitalizations. Diverting AHS leadership by not being prepared for a disaster that you created and refused to plan is ridiculous. “

Spokespersons for the PCU caucus and the prime minister’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

While the Alberta Medical Association and the Canadian Pediatric Society joined a growing chorus of calls for a stronger set of public health measures, Kenney rejected the idea of ​​imposing large lockdowns at this stage of the pandemic, saying Sunday It made no sense to those who have. been vaccinated.

“I know it is easy to stand aside and criticize governments around the world for their response, but we are all trying to do our best,” he said on the Roy Green show.

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