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Mayor and council concerned about the moving of seniors from NLRHC

PHOTO. Mayor Don Scott, from 2018. MYMCMURRAY/Melanie Walsh.

Mayor Don Scott has written to the Ministry of Health due to concerns about the moving of seniors from the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has proposed moving seniors to locations outside the municipality to ensure adequate beds.

Scott said he and his council colleagues have a variety of concerns about the movement.

“We recognize that the movement of our seniors may be necessary to ensure their safety and well-being. However, I, along with my Council colleagues, have deep concerns about this action for a variety of reasons,”

According to a statement from Mayor Scott, patients could expect as little as two hours notice before being moved.

Some other concerns include a recognized increase of morbidity rate for seniors when moved, a lack of clarity on how patients are being relocated and how families are being involved in the process, and the possibility of increased costs to families for a move and new facilities.

There is also concern about a lack of clarity on when seniors’ may return home.

In the statement, Scott also noted that as of April 2, there are no active cases of COVID-19 in our hospital.

In his letter to the Ministry of Health, Scott has asked Health Minister Tyler Shandro to direct the NLRHC to:

  1. Mobilize their Quality Review Team to individually assess each intended older adult move.
  2. Involve a Physician for appropriate assessment of each older adult move.
  3. Follow all Physician recommendations around relocation.
  4. Strictly adhere to the Patient First Strategy and commitments therein around ‘Every Interaction, Every Initiative and Every Investment.’


Scott said it’s critical that the municipality is mindful to do what’s best for seniors and their families.

“Our region has been built by the hard work and commitment of our seniors, and they are a valued part of Wood Buffalo’s past, present, and future.”