Cutting security at hospitals is dangerous

As the husband of a nurse who works at the general hospital, I am not at all happy with the decision of Alberta Health Services to replace full-time security with roving security at the hospital.

Dear Editor:

As the husband of a nurse who works at the general hospital, I am not at all happy with the decision of Alberta Health Services to replace full-time security with roving security at the hospital. (March 3, Alberta Health replacing security with patrols) Currently, when the staff leave in the evening to go to their vehicles the security staff is there to keep an eye out and help if needed. Who’s going to do that now? Can somebody tell me what the response time would be even from the Centennial Centre to the general, let alone if the roving security was at Lacombe or Rocky Mountain House when needed.

This is not only a safety issue for the nurses who work at the hospital, but also for the people who are there looking for care. Currently, if somebody comes to the emergency room door, they need to be buzzed into the hospital to be admitted into the building after regular hours. The security staff will do this when the nursing staff is busy. If somebody comes to the door and the staff is busy with a code or some other serious issue, they can’t leave to answer the door. (Which might also be a major emergency such as a heart attack)

The RCMP do a great job of getting to the hospital as fast as they can in case of a violent patient, however, they may all be busy elsewhere and can’t guarantee, nor be expected to, get there in a timely fashion. I’m not sure how AHS will be saving $6 million by getting rid of six full-time staff, but I would really like to know.

All in all, I personally am appalled at another thoughtless decision by the Conservative government that puts money before safety. Well Mr. Duckett and Mr. Stelmach would you leave any of your family sitting in the emergency room at PGH at midnight with no security? I didn’t think so, so why should you expect me to?

Greg Zazzara

Editor’s Note: The $6-million savings sought by AHS is across the province, not in Ponoka alone. GAB, editor