This is Paul. He is an emergency medicine physician in Alberta.
“I had to do a double shift to cover for a colleague who has fallen ill from a respiratory illness, likely acquired while caring for sick Albertans. The chances of this happening to me and others is ever growing.
For a number of reasons, a significant number of patients from marginalized populations do not have valid Alberta Health Care numbers when they present to our EDs. As of April 1st, the government will no longer provide coverage for these patients.
So if an Albertan without a valid number were to present to our ED with symptoms of a COVID-19 infection, what am I supposed to do?
In my 20 years of practice, I have never turned a patient away due to a lack of insurance. I have always provided care knowing that I may not always be compensated for my efforts.
Despite the government’s actions to devalue my profession with ill-informed unilateral cuts, I will continue to help all those who present in their time of need and do the right thing. I hope that the government will show some faith in physicians and do the same.”