Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 11, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD TuesJny, July 11, 197Z- Alberta needs 700 more MDs by 1981 By JOE MA Herald Staff Writer About 700 more physicians nre required in Alberta by the year 13B1, according to a de- partment of national health and welfare estimate. This figure should not be difficult to reach, taking into account that the number of physicians in the province has increased to from in 1962. There are 151 physicians in southern Alberta, referring to an area south of Vulcan and west of Bow Island with a population of about The Lclhbridge Herald's circu- lation area in Alberta. This gives a ratio of one physician per 800 of the popula- tion, similar to the provincial average but slightly below what the Alberta Medical As- sociation calls the ideal ratio of one physician per 770 popu- lation. The distribution of physicians In southern Alberta is far from ideal. There are 97 in Lcth- bridge, which means there is one physician per 415 popula- tion. The rest of southern Alberta can only manage one physician per population and there aren't any residing on cither of the Indian reserves in the area. The concentration of physic- ians, particulary specialists, in population centres is universal, with Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge having the major- ity. Taking a distance of 25 miles on a gravelled road or a time factor of 45 minutes as being reasonably adequate, then nearly all residents in south- cm Alberta are within reach of a physician. With the exception of the Blood and Peigan Reserves, all incorporated communities in southern Alberta with a pop- ulation of and more have at least one resident physician. Three incorporated communi- ties with population of less than Carmangay, Milk River and Nanton also have resident physicians. There is an acute shortage of active treatment hospital beds for mental patients. The Lethbridge Municipal Hospital has a 21-bed psychiatric ward, only one-third of the capacity recommended by the Task Force Reports on the Cost of Health Services in Canada. One factor which hinders the development of general hospit- al beds for mental patients is the existing federal provincial cost sharing method. Under this system, the federal gov- ernment pays 10 per cent of the operating costs of a gen- eral hospital which has 10 per cent of its rated beds for men- Taber The Taber 4-H Sugar Beet Club held a regular meeting June 5, starting at 8 in Central School Gymnasium. Kenneth Badura lead the 4-II pledge. The minutes were read and roll call was held. Michael Putici moved the tour be on Wednesday, starting at Cseke's place at a.m. The members are to bring their lunch. Dcbbra Donick read the cor- respondence which was about a trip to Bonnyville. Next meeting's arc to be given by Billy Badura, Rrl.in Folio, Andy Oudman and Cnthy r.hdntosh. There was a about a club photographer. CMJIl ItF.PORTF.n Cindy Hnduru tal patients on an individual hospital by hospital basis in- stead of a community or re- gional basis. There are 915 general hos- pital beds in southern 'Alberta, giving a ratio of one bed per 131 population. This is more favorable than the provincial ratio of one bed per 152 popu- lation and much more favor- able than the national ratio. Lethhridgc has a greater con- centration of general hospital beds, with one bed per 9U pop- ulation. It should lie borne in mind that a realistic appraisal of the health facilities in Lethbridge should be applied on a region- al basis, since a nation has a capital, a province has a pro- vincial capital, and a region has a service centre. Facilities for Hie native people in southern Alberta in- clude the 43-bed Blood Indian Hospital near Cardston, and two health centres, one in Cardston for the Blood band, and one at Brocket for the Peigan band. In addition to the shortage of psychiatrists and psychiat- ric nurses, there is also a shortage of specialists in the field of ophthalmology (four In the city none in the rest of the Another area to look into is the rising cost of health serv- ices. The cost per patient day at an active treatment hospital is around The Victorian Or- der of Nurses recently In- creased its standard fee per visit from to but it is still almost 10 times cheaper. Home nursing caro should be promoted without de- lay. Some specialized services, such as are usu- ally provided through a univer- sity medical school. There "is no plfin to develop a medical school in LcthbriclRC, since the two medical schools in Edmon- ton and Calgary arc already providing overflow benefits to other provinces in western Canada. As observed by the Oldman River Regional Planning Coin- mission, "what is required in Alberta is not the provision of more hospital facilities but tho maximum utilization of the fa- cilities already existing in the province.'1 The occupancy of general hospitals in southern Alberta has been about 71 per cent, compared with the national average of 78 per cent. The Milk River Border Counties General, for instance, had an occupancy rate of only 45 per cent in 1368. On the other hand, the two auxiliary hospitals in the area are experiencing maximum oc- cupancy. In 19G8, the Leth- bridge Auxiliary Hospital had a percentage occupancy of over 100, and the Willow Creek Auxiliary Hospital at Clares- holm had 87 per cent. Nursing home-wise. With the opening of the 150- bcd Southland Nursing Home in Ihc city, southern Alberta has about four nursing homo beds per population, com- pared with the provincial aver- age of three beds per Taber and Raymond are re- questing nursing homes with 75 and 60 beds respectively. There are 450 senior citizens' home beds in southern Alberta, including 100 in the city. Lcth- bridge's senior citizens' homes have had occupied capacity since 1960. From the above, it is appar- ent that: psychiatric ward at the Lethbridge Municipal Hos- pital should be expanded to CO, or at least 50 without delay. This will require a change in the federal provincial cost- sharing method; are enough physicians In southern Alberta now and will be in the future, but the distribution is not ideal. Since this is a free country, how- ever, it is difficult to encour- age physicians to move into areas which they do not want, for whatever reasons; are enough general hospital beds in southern Al- berta. Support facilities, such as auxiliary hospitals, VON and senior citizens' homes should be developed further. As far as nursing home beds arc con- cerned, the Lethbridge General and Auxiliary Hospital and Nursing Home District No. 65 Board has a standing commit- Following ii a list of public health service facilities end the distribution of pnysreions in southern Alberto. Pleo ss note Ibat all physicians live in communities which have general hospitals. Location Blairmore Bow Island Cardston Carmangay Claresholm Coaldale Coleman Fort Macleod Lellibridge Magrath Milk Hirer Nanfen 'icturc Pinchcr Creek Raymond Taber Vulcan Total General Hospital Beds Total Physicians Name of Hospital Crowsncst Pass General Bow Island General Cardston Municipal Little Bow Municipal CJaresholm General Coaldale Community Macleod Municipal Lethbridge Municipal St. Michael's General Magrath Municipal Border Counties General Picture Bulte Municipal St. Vincent's Raymond Municipal Taber General Vulcan Municipal Claresholm Lethbridge Total Auxiliary hospital beds Cardston Fort Macleod Lethbridge Lo'hbridgc Lethbridge Vulcan Total nursing home bods Cajtlston Ciaresholm Auxiliary Hospitals Willow Creek-Claresholm Auxiliary Lethbridge Auxiliary Nursing Homes Grandview Nursing Home Blunt's Nursing Home Devon Nursing Home Edith Cavell Nursing Home Southland Nursing Home Blunt's Nursing Home Federal Hospitals Blood Indian Menial Instirutions Alberta Hospital Itajmond Alberta Hospital TcLal Mentnl institution capacity Licensed Institutions Alhcrli Mcmionilo Home for the Aged Oliver House (operated by tlie Lcthbridge and District Associatio Tnr Retarded Children) Siflon House (operated by the department of health and soeia development) Total licensed institution cnpacily of menl to give Taber first pri- ority should additional beds bo required in southern Alberta; provide better utilization of existing facilities, co-ordina- tion and centralized direction are necessary. The Amalga- mated Hospital Board is mov- ing in the right direction to regionalize laundry and lab- facilities. The govern- ment's policy is understood to be eventually expanding re- gional boards' areas of juris- diction. Generally speaking, public health services are satisfac- tory in southern Alberta with tihe exception of Ui3 nntiivo people. As pointed out in a brief submitted by the Alberta Medical Association to the Al- berta Human Resources Re- search Council, the Indians are being treated as "second class citizens." Public health services pro- vided by the governments in- clude the city health unit in Lethbnuge, the Health Unit based in Coal- dale, the Chief Mountain Health Ijnil based in Cardston, Chi- nook Health Unit based in Fort Macleod, and the Foot- hills Health Unit based in Vul- can. The provincial department of health and social development maintain regional offices in Lethbridge and Blairmore. In southeastern British Co- lumbia, the ratio of physician per population is also about one per 800. Michel Michel-Natal Dis- trict Hospital, 19 beds, two physicians. Fernie Fernie Memorial Hospital, 43 beds, stven physi- cians. Kimberlcy Kimberley and District Hospital, 55 beds, nine physicians. Cranbrook Cranbrook and District Hospital, 75 beds plus 50 beds for extended care, 20 physicians. In Fernie, a new G6 bed hos- pital is being planned, with completion scheduled for Janu- ary, 1974. 23 New oil provides multi-use Those with an aversion to squeaks or with sticky metal problems can now rest easy with the discovery of a new lub- ricant penitrant preserva- tive, WD-40. A sample from Gerald Sch- leif of the parent company was tried out by this reporter on numerous problem situations and was found to be a cure-all. The aerosol dispenser provided a clean, easy-to-use applicator. Three sizes are available for easy use in the spray cans: two and three quarters-ounce, 11-ounce and 15-ounce tins. It is also available in bulk. Some of the uses listed by Ihc company include free rust frozen parts, stop rust on chrome and vital metal parts, lubricate to make locks and working parts work smooth at any temperature, prevent ice formation in door locks, dry out wet ignitions, lubricate cycle chains and road tar from chrome and painl. A sample is available for 25 cents from the company, 5390 Napa Strnot. Kiin Diego, Cali- fornia 92110.