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Calls for more spending on Alberta health care following senior's 3-week stay in hospital hallway


After her father spent two days in an emergency room, Patrice Koshman was shocked to find the 81-year-old receiving care in a hospital hallway.

"I instantly started crying and said, 'Dad, I am sorry, but this is the space they are keeping you in," Koshman told CTV News Edmonton.

The Edmontonian described how the lights were never turned on for him because his bed was next to a nursing station at the University of Alberta Hospital and due to the lack of privacy.

"He had a teacher bell to signal for the nurse to come," Koshman said.

"Patients would go around for exercise (and) would just randomly ding his bell."

Her father remained in the hallway for nearly three weeks, an experience Koshman says eroded his health.

"His health has deteriorated — honestly, astronomically — in regards to the dementia, I think it’s because of the action taking place in that hallway," she said.

Koshman is joining the Alberta NDP to call for better care, including more health-care workers, and a south Edmonton hospital.

"Most of us will need to spend time in a hospital at some point in our lives," Dr. Luanna Metz, the Alberta NDP's health critic, said Monday at a media availability.

"We deserve to rely on them when we need them. We shouldn't have to lose our dignity just because we get ill."

Dr. Paul Parks, the president of the Alberta Medical Association, says ERs are under intense pressure. In addition to more staff, he says more long-term care options are desperately needed.

"This is not an uncommon event," Parks told CTV News Edmonton.

"It's something we've been talking about for a long time. Our system is strained to full capacity. We are placing patients wherever we can."

Athana Mentzelopoulos, president and chief executive officer of Alberta Health Services, says an investigation into the situation is underway, acknowledging weeks in a hallway is not quality care.

"The details here are regrettable," Mentzelopoulos told CTV News Edmonton.

"We always endeavour to put people in the right place for the right quality of care. We do have periods where there is surge where we sometimes have to use space that is not optimal."

It's an experience that's left Koshman with little faith in the system.

"It truly has been the most difficult time in my life," she said. Top Stories

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