Sunday, March 22, 2015

Calgary General Hospital -Then Booom!

By The Calgary Herald October 5, 2008
Calgary's General Hospital -- remains a divisive issue even 10 years to the day after the building was reduced to rubble.
In front of the memorial wall commemorating the hospital that served the city from 1910 to 1998, about 20 people gathered Saturday to mourn the loss and voice their anger at the impact the decision has had.
"This is the '9/11' of health care," Calgarian Rebecca Aizenman said. "We haven't recovered from it. The meltdown is still felt today."
But proponents of the closure maintain it was a necessary move. The decision came amidst the Klein government's efforts to stem soaring health care costs in the 1990s.
Ex-premier Ralph Klein's former chief of staff Rod Love said the facility was "old, dysfunctional and badly organized" and had to be closed if health care was going to be modernized.
"We had a financial crunch in the mid-90s and we had to reorganize the health care system," he said Saturday. "Bad, old facilities had to go."
Closing Calgary General and Holy Cross hospitals was expected to save up to $50 million in operating costs per year. At the same time the decision was made to close the General, the province promised a hospital in the southeast.
But the decision left Calgary without an emergency department downtown and destroyed a "state of the art" facility that would today be very much in demand, critics charge.
The hospital had more than 900 beds, along with a trauma centre, helipad and a psychiatric unit, Friends of Medicare members said Saturday.
Former alderman John Schmal, who was the last vice-chair on the General Hospital's board, criticized city council and others for not fighting hard enough to keep the hospital.
"We all know what happened here was the very worst blunder ever made by a health care board," he told those gathered Saturday.
The bed closures has contributed to today's overcrowding and long wait times, added Aizenman.
"We lost a great deal. Nurses left, doctors left," she added.
Amongst the group were former nurses and those whose families had marked milestones at the hospital.
Ted Woynillowicz of Friends of Medicare said the ceremony was not just to remember the hospital, but also to honour all those who worked there over the decades.
"It was a community of buildings run by a community of people all in the service of welcoming the births of babies, nursing the ill to health, caring for the frail and elderly and comforting the dying," Woynillowicz said.
On Oct. 4, 1998, crowds gathered to watch the implosion of the Calgary General Hospital. Some cheered as the hospital fell, but for others it was the sad end of an era. by 

Current Housing Prices: 

When Bridgeland Housing Was Affordable now as U see in the above link that they are at $1,000,000 +. In my opinion, this was due to Location - Location - Location and someone in the government back then, got rich...

IMO Amid all the closures and rationalizations, the Calgary General was unique in two respects. It is the biggest North American hospital ever to shut down and have its functions, equipment, staff and patients as much as possible integrated into existing hospitals, and highly trained staff laid off as its closure left Calgary as the only large city in Canada without a downtown emergency department.

P.S. They also just spent before the demo; $4,000,000 to renovate the front entrance of the General Hospital for better ambulance access. Then Booom!
Posted F.Y.I. by Sir Richard...

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