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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 8, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Some officials claim Lethbridge growing 'overdoctored9 By GEORGE STEPHENSON Herald Staff Writer Lethbridge has more medical doctors per capita than any city in Alberta and some medical officials say the city is becoming "overdoctored." Dr. Robert Clark, executive director of the Alberta Medical Association, said Thursday he thinks there are more physicians in Lethbridge than necessary. The ratio of physicians to people in Lethbridge great- ly exceeds averages set down by groups such as the World Health Organization and federal department of health and welfare. These organizations say about one physician is need- ed for every 600 to 700 people, Dr. Clark explained. Lethbridge, with 104 physicians, has about one doctor for every 420 residents. ratio highest The only other city in Alberta with a ratio less than one to 525 is Edmonton which has about one physician for every 520 residents. Medicine Hat has the highest city ratio with one doctor for every 735 residents. But the figure for Edmonton and Lethbridge cannot be compared accurately, Dr Clark said, because Edmonton has many physicians in teaching positions with the medical faculty at the Univer- sity of Alberta "The situation in Edmonton is there is the medical faculty of about 200 to 300 he said in a telephone interview. "The main thing they do is teach, whereas in Lethbridge all doc- Almost medically saturated The executive director add- ed there is a trend in most walks of life to move to urban areas and medical graduates are not different. Calgary is attracting many physicians and is becoming more like Edmonton in that its medical faculty as well as general doctor population is increasing. There are 697 physicians registered in Calgary, figures from the medical association show Dr. Clark said although there is a trend to ur- banization, Lethbridge is close to being medically saturated. Rural MDs still too sparce Although the number of medical specialists in rural Alberta areas is growing, these areas still lag behind cities for physicians' services, an Alberta Medical Associa- tion official said Thursday. Dr. Robert Clark AMA ex- ecutive director, said rural medical service is still a concern of the association. Of Alberta's registered physicians only 518 are prac- tising outside the cities of Ed- monton, Calgary, Lethbridge. Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Grande Prairie. More than 50 per cent of all Alberta doctors, about practise in Edmonton and Calgary. About practise either in or within 35 miles of those two centres leaving 631 for the rest of the province. Dr. Clark said the level of care in rural areas should have increased in the past few years because of the increase in specialists in those areas. But cities are still attracting most medical graduates, he added. There is still deep concern over services provided to northern Alberta, he said. From Edmonton to the northern Alberta boundary only 117 physicians are prac- tising This compares with 215 physicians practising south of Calgary and practising from Calgary to Edmonton inclusive Northern area figures ex- amined by The Herald, from federal and provincial govern- menl and medical organizations, show there is about one physician for every 1.700 residents In the central part of the province there is about one physicians for every 625 people In the South there is about one physician for every 800 people In Southern Alberta there are 104 doctors practising in Lethbridge and 38 in Medicine Hal Lethbridge has the lowest doctor resident ratio of Alberta cities and Medicine Hat the highest Grande Praine has about one physician for every 650 residents but that city is still m need of specialist and sup- port services. Dr Clark said Problems arise in economics as well as in physician's practices when more than enough doctors are practising in one area, Dr. Clark said. "One problem that can arise is doctors may find it difficult to obtain hospital he said. Hospital privileges.obtained through application to the hospital staff and board, allow the physician to care for his patients who have been ad- mitted to hospital. Dr. Clark's concern in this area was shared by a medical committee from the two hospitals here which attempted last summer to restrict the size of the medical staffs to their current level. The general medical staff, at a meeting a few months later, decided against propos- ing the restrictions to the hospital board. Dr. Clark said another problem that could be ex- perienced is Lethbridge physicians' fees may start decreasing because of more competition and less volume. "This wouldn't be as big a problem if physicians' fees were keeping up with the cost of Dr Clark said. Doctors would not have to compete as much to keep their income the same. Coupled with this, however, is a side effect that could dis- suade physicians from coming to Lethbridge. As financial pressure increases on clinics the clinics will be less likely to hire more doctors. Dr. Clark explained. Whistlers shot at High River HIGH RIVER (Special) The shooting of eight whistler swans has been reported to the High River office of the Fish and Wildlife branch in the past two weeks, says wildlife officer Marvin Doran. Although the birds are a protected species, careless "sportsmen" have been tak- ing a heavy toll of the big birds and an all-out effort is being made to stop the shooting. Mr Doran says there is lit- tle excuse for mistaking the swans for wild geese. He says not only are they much bigger, but their ex- tremely long necks, snow- white feathers and unique whistling cry makes iden- tification quite obvious. The officer reminded hunters that killing of these birds is illegal. Anyone witnessing such shootings should try to get the vehicle licence number of the hunter and report it to the wildlife of- ficer, he said Date changed PINCHER CREEK ,'Special) The Alberta Ballet Company will perform here Jan. 27, 1975, and not early in November as previously expected. The time and place will be announced later District The LetKbttdge Herald Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Friday, November 8, 1974 Pages 17-32 At land use forum sparse crowd attends tors are available to the public." Taking 250 physicians from Emonton's registered physicians leaves that city with a ratio of about one doc- tor for every 630 residents. Calgary, which also has a university medical faculty, has an overall ratio of about one physician for every 650 residents. That ratio would increase slightly if only physicians in regular practice were included. However, Dr. Clark said, most ratios are based on the number of licensed physicians in a city and not strictly on those directly serving the public. Hutterite land, acreage growth discussed By RIC SWIHART Herald Staff Writer Too much and too little land highlighted they Lethbridge land use meeting Thursday when at sparse crowd lashed expan- sion of Hutterite colonies and argued pros and cons of allowing continued etf- pansion of small acreagf holdings in the province, j Sponsored by the Runil Education and ment Association for the Alberta Land Use Forum, the meeting was told the Alberta government doesn't have the faintest idea about future land purchases by Hutterites and the special Hutterite Liaison Committee is about "four months behind time." William Hoffarth of Car- mangay questioned a statistic presented at the meeting by Nick Agnew, information program co-ordinator from Calgary, who said Hutterites own or rent about acres of land, about 1.4 per cent of the total farmland in the province Mr. Hoffarth said the figure might be accurate up to May of this year but it doesn't take into consideration thousands of acres of land Hutterites farm under an agreement 6f sale. Mr. Hoffarth criticized the work of Arnold Platt, chairman of the liaison com- mittee, who he claims talks about future Hutterite colony expansion but "never gets there until the colony is set up." Ed Davidson questioned the use of rented land in the statistics, claiming nobody knows as property owners and Hutterites would never divulge how much land is be- ing farmed by Hutterites But Ben Nyhoff, agricultural fieldman for the County of Lethbridge, said he could tell within 80 or 90 per cent how much land Hutterites are renting from farmers The Southern Alberta Equestrian Council initiated discussion on small acreages, claiming the 80-acre size limit is wrong and should be abolished in most cases. Bill DesBarres of Lethbridge, president of the organization for horsemen representing 60 clubs in Southern Alberta, said a regulation limiting the size land can be subidivided to 80- acre parcels has the effect of influencing price so that new owners can't afford to farm it properly. He said the purpose of the regulation to protect produc- tive farmland is contradicted by affluent members of socie- ty who buy for speculation purposes and never intend to maintain viable food produc- tion Mr. Hoffarth suggested small acreages were okay as long as the land isn't ruined. Ben Loman of Picture Butte. a member of the board of directors for the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District, said he doesn't oppose small acreages as long as they don't take irrigated land out of production. Mr. DesBarres said more than 10.000 amateur horse enthusiasts in Southern Alberta deserve formal recognition in the form of new systems of arteries to and from urban and rural centres, river valley corridors and scenic areas as wel? as equestrian centres strategically located. He said the horse enthusiasts don't want to infringe on agricultural land but would welcome abandoned government, railroad and utility rights of way, irriga- tion canal banks, highway ditches, fire and seismic roads, crown range and forest lands to provide natural horse trails that would be properly designated and signed Litter fighters Ever wonder how the grounds at the University of Lethbridge are kept so clean? It's no mystery to litter-mobile pilots Jacquie and Rick Shockley, part-time litter fighters and full-time university stu- dents. The mobiles, actually recreational vehicles adapted for grounds work by the university maintenance department, have been kept busy chasing paper, cardboard, plastic and other building materials blowing in from the West Lethbridge development. "It's been real bad tms fall, said a department official. He said the bug- gies are handy for grounds-keeping because the balloon tires don't damage the turf. The shoulder-level box at the rear is used for car- rying tools as well as full bags of litter and are placed high for vis- ibility. Economy's growth expected to slow Canada is not heading for a depression but there is a very real danger the rate of growth of the national economy may decline says the president of the Canadian Manufacturer's Association. Alberta will be sheltered to some extent from the effects of any recession by the current investment boom in the province, said Walter Lawson, vice-president of Domtar Packaging Ltd. of Montreal, in an interview. Mr. Lawson was in Lethbridge Thursday to meet local members of the CMA during a tour of the Prairie Provinces. The levels of government spending and rising labor costs point to a recession, he said. Mr Lawson said he hopes the new federal budget to be presented by Finance Minister John Turner Nov. 18 will be conservative and deflationary. It should contain provisions to restrain government spen- ding, one of the prime causes of inflation in our society, he said. The monetary supply has been entirely too expan- sionary and tighter control should be exercised even if it means still higher interest rates. Mr. Lawson added. "Which do you want higher interest rates or depreciation of the value of First fire hall now stands empty WALTER LAWSON your dollar? It's the saw-off you have to make." Mr. Lawson said he expects most of the provisions of the May budget that precipitated the July 8 federal election will be repeated in the new budget. The 64-year history of Lethbridge's first fire hall, Station No 1, came to an end Thursday as firemen wheeled their trucks and equipment out for the last time. The new Fire Hall No. 1 is located at 6th Avenue and 4th Street S. It will serve West Lethbridge as well as other parts of the city. Fire Inspector Doug Kometz said the old No. 1 sta- tion will be used as the alarm receiving centre for about six months until new equipment is set up at No. 2 "Then, the old hall will be completely closed down. What will happen to the building is hard to Mr. Kometz said. The No. 1 station, built in 1890 and expanded in 1910, housed the fire department, equipment and a team of horses, city hall and the police department. The Lethbridge fire depart- ment was organized as a volunteer brigade about 1886 under Chief Harry Moffat. Hand drawn equipment was the style then, but as the town grew the department grew. By 1903 horse-drawn equip- ment was being used. In 1903. Ab Humphries, the town's chief magistrate, took over the part-time job of fire chief He was followed in 1904 by Len Fowler, a blacksmith, who built the first hose wagon. Psst cans may harm environment By RUSSELL OUGHTRED Herald Staff Writer The Lethbridge housewife who sprays her hair to keep those loose ends in place or the Police Lake fisherman who holds the insects at bay with a shot from an aerosol can are contributing to a potential menace that is beginning to concern scientists Specialists in Canada and the United States are expressing concern that propellants used in aerosol cans are endangering human life by destroying the ozone layer around the earth. While death from skin cancer may appear far jemoved from a simple squirt of deodorant, hair spray or insecticide, recent findings by two American scientists show freon propellant in common aerosol bombs is speeding the breakdown of ozone in the earth's atmosphere Recent studies by atmospheric scientists Michael B McElroy and Steven C Wofsy, both of Harvard University, say if use of freon propellent continues to increase at the current rate of 21 per cent annually, the o7we layer will be depleted by sevai per cent in 10 years and 30 per cent in 20 vears Their findings have posed on ominous threat to the stability of the ozone layer lying from 10 to 30 miles above the earth's surface. A Sept. 26 article in the New York Times says "because certain wave lengths of traviuiet iignt from the sun break down molecules essential to life, it is believed that life not emerge until the development of the ozone layer in the earth's history. "The most prevalent concern is not for total loss of the ozone it is a fear of suf- ficient depletion to cause widespread skin cancer and other effects "Furthermore, because ultraviolet absorp- tion by ozone contributes substantially to up- per air heating, radical reduction of such heating could alter climates In 1971. American scientists estimated that chlorofluoromethanes. marketed as freon, were being released into the atmosphere at the rate of one million tons annually A recent article in the journal Nature says chemically- inert freon is six limes more harmful to ozone that nitnc oxides created by supersonic tran- sport planes and nuclear explosions Until now. atmospheric experts have concentrated research on the harmful effects to ozone from these oxides of nitrogen. Technically, ozone is a gas whose molecules have three oxygen atoms Or- dinary oxygen has two atoms. Nitric oxides" capture the free oxygen atoms needed to combine with oxygen aloft to produce ozone Freon has been shown to have a more harmful effect on ozone As sunlight breaks down freon. chlorine gas released in the process consumes the free oxygen atoms needed to build up ozone Freon is the trade name of duPont de Nemours Co but similar gases are manufactured by other petrochemical com- panies Freon and similar products are also widely used in refrigerators and air con- ditioners In response to recent warnings of danger from scientists, the Manufacturing Chemists Association in the U S has started studies on the gas In Canada. Dr H I Schiff of York Univer- sity has appealed to the federal government to fund research projects Dr Schiff has as yet received no assurances of money for research in this country ;