New Calgary hospital lacks staff
Other clinics in the hospital, including the emergency department and operating rooms are slated to be opened over the course of 2013, with the campus set to be fully operational by late 2013.
The hospital was originally planned to have its first wings opened in early spring of this year, but the date was pushed back when the hospital had problems finding enough qualified staff.
The ongoing staffing problem the hospital faces begs the question: if they didn’t have enough workers to operate it, why would they build a new hospital in the first place?
It would be unrealistic to expect a newly built hospital to be fully operational right off the bat, but some, including Liberal Leader Raj Sherman, are worried that they won’t have the staff they need in time to open the remaining departments by their planned dates.
Currently they have 1,000 of the approximately 2,400 staff the South Health Campus will need to function, Health Minister Fred Horne told the media at a press conference on Sept 6.
But even if it means calling for doctors, nurses and support staff from outside of the province – and possibly even from outside the country – Calgary decidedly needs this hospital fully operational as soon as possible.
In order to staff the much anticipated hospital, calls have been put out to as far as Ireland to bring in new workers. But despite many concerns that there aren’t any workers in Calgary to run this new hospital, there are nurses, doctors and support staff being trained solely for the purpose of being sent to the South Health Campus.
Newly-hired nurses have been training in the operating room of the Foothills Hospital for the past two years to prepare to be sent down to the South Health Campus once its operating rooms open.
Presumably, other hospitals have been training workers in similar ways, so hopefully there will be little to worry about staffing-wise when the time comes to fully open the South Health Campus.
The biggest reason for needing staff increases is a relatively simple one – space for more patients.
Alberta Health Services workers have been waiting for a new hospital to be built since the Calgary General Hospital was demolished back in 1998.
Hospitals in Calgary are overcrowded with patients, and it’s been that way for years. The South Health Campus will help to solve some of the space problems other hospitals in Calgary are experiencing.
The South Health Campus boasts 310 beds and bed equivalents, along with 11 operating rooms. It is predicted that they will have 200,000 outpatient visits a year.
The over 300 beds they have will alleviate much of the pressure on Calgary hospitals now to find more space for their ever-growing number of patients.
Naturally, as Calgary grows in size, the number of people needing medical services will also grow. The South Health Campus is a long overdue addition to the City of Calgary.