The number of COVID-19 cases across the region is causing problems for some trying to access health specialists in other parts of the province.
This according to at least one local family and Tany Yao, MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo.
Local resident Ian Seggie tells Mix News his mother, Ann, had booked an appointment in Edmonton to get her sinus checked at a specialist as she was having trouble breathing.
Despite receiving a negative COVID-19 test, he says it was later canceled over the fear of her still potentially being infected due to the case totals in the community.
“This was someone getting denied access to healthcare, basically, because of the fact they live in Fort McMurray.”
The pair got into contact with Alberta Health Services who explained to them they couldn’t be denied any service.
Soon after, they were able to book an appointment for the middle of June.
The person who made the decision was, according to Seggie, new to the job and was nervous about the region’s numbers.
He notes he understands they made a mistake, however, this initial reaction has negatively impacted his family.
“In order to go down for some of these appointments, for a daytime procedure like her’s, it requires my dad taking time off of work, getting someone to look after the house… it’s not just a drive down most of the time, it’s an overnight.”
Most importantly, his mom has to wait longer to get her sinus fixed.
Meanwhile, Yao has also shared a statement condemning residents from being denied service.
He didn’t share how many cases he heard about, only noting he’s come across multiple situations.
“While additional precautions are being taken when an individual who resides in or is returning from an area with high COVID-19 case rates seeks hospital care, these additional precautions do not in any way limit access to patient care,” added Yao.
“No patient should be turned away from receiving services.”
Yao and Seggie are encouraging anyone who’s experienced a similar situation to contact AHS Patient Relations at 1-855-550-2555.