The City of Airdrie has issued a press release stating the municipality "was proud" to see that its efforts and concerns about the closures of the Airdrie Urgent Care Centre (AUCC) were quickly addressed by Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Alberta Health, resulting in the resumption of 24/7 service as of today (Aug. 19).
“I want to thank AHS staff, the Minister of Health, AUCC doctors and staff for their willingness to work with us to ensure urgent care health services are available to Airdrie and area residents,” said Mayor Peter Brown, in the release.
“As always, we want to sincerely thank our doctors, nurses, administrators and all health professionals for the work they do every day to support all the communities that access AUCC."
The release comes after an announcement from AHS on Aug. 18 that Airdrie’s urgent care centre would resume 24-hour care, thanks to the recruitment of four new physicians. As well, $1 million in new funding will add staffing to create a "Fast Track" service for less serious medical issues, AHS' release continued, as well as adding staff for patient triage.
This step forward will help address the community’s most immediate health needs, according to the City.
"Through direct meetings with AHS, Alberta Health, and Minister [Jason] Copping, City council will continue to work together and council will continue to advocate for much-needed funds to help doctors and staff at AUCC meet the needs of the more than 140 patients they serve each and every day," the municipality's release stated.
The temporary overnight closures at the Airdrie Urgent Care Centre began in early July, due to gaps in physician coverage. Less than two weeks later, AHS announced the continuation of overnight closures during the weekends for the rest of the summer.
As Airdrie does not currently have its own hospital, the local urgent care centre is the primary health-care facility in the city. During the overnight closures, those seeking medical attention were forced to travel to Calgary or other communities to receive care.