A surge in coronavirus cases has pushed the healthcare system in the Canadian province of Alberta to the verge of collapse, as healthcare workers struggle against mounting exhaustion and a growing anti-vaccine movement in the region.
The province warned this week that its ICU capacity was strained, with more people requiring intensive care than any other point during the pandemic – nearly all of them unvaccinated.
“It’s not easy to go to work everyday and watch people in their 30s die,” an ICU nurse in Edmonton told the Guardian. “Having to help a family say goodbye and then going through the actions that are required at the end of someone’s life, is worse than anyone can imagine.”
Alberta has long boasted of its loose coronavirus restrictions – including advertising the previous months as the “best summer ever” as it rolled back those few restrictions. It has also been the site of North America’s highest caseloads.
In a province with a long history of scepticism towards government, the pandemic has become fertile ground for protests and anti-vaccine rhetoric, including from elected officials, firefighters and police officers. During the ongoing federal election, most support for the People’s party of Canada, a fringe rightwing party that has come out against public health measures, has come from rural Alberta.
That scepticism towards masks and vaccines has come at a steep cost, say frontline workers.
On Monday, more than 60 infectious-disease doctors wrote a letter to premier Jason Kenney, warning of a catastrophic outcome if the province didn’t address the escalating caseload.
“Our healthcare system is truly on the precipice of collapse,” the physicians wrote. “Hospitals and ICUs across the province are under enormous strain and have reached a point where it is unclear if, or for how much longer, we can provide safe care for Albertans.”
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Source : https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2021/sep/15/coronavirus-live-news-france-health-worker-vaccine-mandate-comes-into-effect-healthcare-rationing-imminent-for-idaho?page=with:block-6141c99f8f0887fe13f52928345