Hospitals in Alberta’s northern region operating at over 100 per cent ICU surge capacity – CBC

This week, Alberta’s premier singled out the area for its low vaccination rates

Sep 29, 2021

Alberta’s northern health zone, which encompasses regions where vaccination uptake is well below the provincial average, is operating at over 100 per cent of its intensive care capacity.

Alberta Health Services said that as of Wednesday, the North zone had 15 ICU spaces, including nine surge beds, between the Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray hospitals. AHS says it is operating at 104 per cent capacity.

Dr. Kathryn Koliaska, the lead medical officer of health for the North zone, said ICU capacity is both about space as well as the specialized staff required to work it.

In the case of the North zone, she explained, the overcapacity could be the result of health-care workers doing overtime. That’s a solution in the short-term, she said, but quality of care is tied to adequate staffing.

“If the bucket is full … when does it start overflowing? You can maybe start tenting the water a little bit before it starts to spill over,” she said.

Read more:

NationTalk Partners & Sponsors Learn More