Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason rallied in the cold on Thursday to pressure the provincial government into fully opening the East Edmonton Health Centre (EEHC).

“It’s unacceptable,” said Mason. “People are dying in emergency rooms waiting for treatment.”

Standing across the street from a virtually empty EEHC, Mason called for the $9 million in funding that would get the urgent care centre up and running.

Once in operation, the EEHC would help to ease demands on the Royal Alexandra Hospital emergency department by offering an alternate facility for patients with non-life-threatening conditions.

The urgent care centre was initially scheduled to open in 2009, but is now slotted as Phase 2 of a “staged, phased-in approach.”

On Nov. 2, Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky confirmed during Question Period that Phase 2 will begin in a year to two years’ time.

“The facility is currently 85 per cent occupied,” replied Andy Weiler, spokesperson for Alberta Health and Wellness.

“And Alberta Health Services is always looking for new ways to fund its projects.”

Latest From ...