Friday, September 18, 2009

Premier Stelmach: Screw the City Folk

Hundreds of beds closed in hospitals in Calgary and Edmonton - 300 in Calgary alone - but no cuts in rural Alberta.

The premier said Thursday the rural medical system has already come through significant changes and noted the government is building several major hospital projects in Calgary.

"In the early 1990s in rural Alberta, many of the hospitals were either converted to long-term care or were closed," Stelmach told reporters in Calgary. "We don't want to do that. I think we have an appropriate number of roofs in the province. Let's use them to our advantage."

But the Alberta Liberals said Calgary also faced massive health cuts when it lost three hospitals in the 1990s.

Liberal Leader David Swann said Stelmach is trying to shore up rural support in advance of a party leadership review this fall.

"The premier has a strong message from rural voters (that cuts) won't fly," he said. "This is a government that doesn't base its decisions on evidence, but on politics."

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