Alberta’s health minister lashed back yesterday as opposition critics presented letters showing doctors have warned the government for years of severe overcrowding in emergency wards.

“(The system) doesn’t fix itself overnight as we all know, but fixes are in the works. A lot of it has already occurred and more of it is coming,” Gene Zwozdesky told the legislature yesterday.

In the letter, Dr. Paul Parks warned the system was on the verge of “potential catastrophic collapse” due to long backlogs of patients.

Parks cited examples of suffering: Stroke patients having to wait for hours, and one heart attack patient dying while awaiting care.