Alberta NDP raises concerns about lack of funding for rural health care |

Alberta’s NDP says the only hospital in a town south of Calgary faces potential closures in its emergency department because the United Conservative Party has not supported it.

David Shepherd, an NDP candidate in Edmonton who’s the Opposition health critic, held a news conference in front of the hospital in High River, Alta., a town of more than 14,000 people about 65 kilometres south of Calgary.

He pointed to a recent letter to the local newspaper by 30 physicians in the town that noted there’s a shortage of family doctors to cover hospital shifts and one obstetrician to provide care for pregnant women.

The doctors say in the letter that rural primary care has been inadequately funded in recent years.

Shepherd says an NDP government would properly fund hospitals across the province if elected on May 29.

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UCP Leader Danielle Smith said last week that the AHS administrator is looking at ways to alleviate pressure in hospitals and added that there’s a $2-billion investment into primary care in this year’s provincial budget.

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