Alberta Health Services has reassured Leduc area residents some popular services at the local hospital have been moved down the street, but not out of the city. This came after a group of Leduc senior citizens and others started a petition to protect certain services in the x-ray/radiology department earlier this month.
The group of seniors contacted the Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer Feb. 4 to state a petition has been organized to prevent certain x-ray/radiology services being removed from the Leduc Hospital and moved into Edmonton. Some seniors who required services like cortisone shots for spinal stenosis were told their program would not be continued in Leduc; their understanding was they would have to travel to Edmonton.
Organizers stated they obtained advice on conducting a proper petition from Leduc-Beaumont MLA Shaye Anderson’s office; the petition is now circulating in Leduc.
The introduction reads: “It has come to our attention that Alberta Health Services is intending to close many of the services provided by the x-ray/radiology clinic/department at the Leduc Hospital. Across town, there is a ‘private for profit’ radiology clinic in Leduc. This clinic, because of some costly procedures, does not provide all the services that Leduc hospital does now. Should Leduc Hospital patients and day patients require procedures no longer provided at the hospital, they will be forced to use ambulance or find other costly transportation to Edmonton or elsewhere. This is more costly in total, and a true hardship for hospital patients, single and other seniors and those who are unwell.
“Therefore, we the undersigned, respectfully request that no negative changes occur to the Leduc Hospital x-ray/radiology clinic/department so that this clinic can continue to serve this city and our surrounding area.”
When contacted by The Pipestone Flyer Feb. 17, Leduc Hospital administration directed questions to Alberta Health Services.
According to AHS spokesperson Sharman Hnatiuk, the recent opening of the new CT scanner meant fluoroscopy services, including things like cortisone shots for spinal stenosis, have been moved to a private clinic, Insight, also located in Leduc.
When asked if patients would have to pay out of their own pockets for that, Hnatiuk said she contacted “diagnostic imaging for the Edmonton Zone and they confirmed that although the fluoroscopy services have been transitioned to a private clinic in Leduc, the service is still paid for by Alberta Health. There should be no ‘out of pocket’ expenses.”
The seniors who contacted the Pipestone Flyer said the possibility of switching appointments to Edmonton was alarming. The hardship of arranging transports for medical appointments is substantial.
Problems like finding and paying for parking, burning fuel and stressful city driving all contribute to an exhausting day, which isn’t something that a lot of seniors with health issues want added to their lives.