Need to safeguard, expand hospitals as population grows

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Mayor says town plans to address that issue

Olds town officials plan to meet with local hospital reps and those from surrounding communities to make sure they have enough services available for an expanding population as cannabis production facilities and other businesses come to town.

Mayor Mike Muzychka made that statement during a breakfast meeting on the impact of those businesses coming here. The event, arranged by the Olds & District Chamber of Commerce and Uptowne Olds, took place Feb. 16 at the legion.

Muzychka also said he’s looking into concerns about the fact that Dr. Clarence Graff has been unable to obtain hospital privileges.

During a question-and-answer period, Muzychka was asked, “do you have enough doctors to provide sufficient medical services with the increase in population?”

“With social services, a lot of our funding from the Alberta government I believe is again on a per capita basis. So as we grow, we get increases as well,” he said.

“As far as the doctors go, I am currently delving into that issue right now. I know we do have one doctor in town who doesn’t have privileges at the hospital. That’s sort of been my focus right there, as he’s one of our busiest doctors in town.

“And through all that, I’m hoping to get to the bottom of our need assessment and we’ll take care of it from there,” he said.

It was suggested to Muzychka that Olds Hospital and Care Centre would have to be expanded to handle demand from an expanding population as well.

Muzychka said he had a casual conversation with Dr. Jaco Hoffman, the chief of medical staff at Olds hospital in regard to that issue recently.

“We’re going to get together I think; he and I and the chiefs of staff from Sundre and Didsbury — and the mayors — and sit down and see if we can’t brainstorm not only how to expand Olds’ hospital, but make sure that those two hospitals are protected as well,” Muzychka said.

“Because if for some reason the Alberta government cuts one of those hospitals, that’s going to put an extra huge load on our hospital. So yep, we’re in the process of talking about that right as we speak as well.”

“If for some reason the Alberta government cuts one of those hospitals, that’s going to put an extra huge load on our hospital.
MAYOR MIKE MUZYCHKA

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Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.