Alberta Health Services closing lab and diagnostic imaging services in Morinville

lab closure decision reversed

Alberta Health Services building

UPDATE JAN 19 7 PM – AHS has reversed its decision Wednesday evening and the lab will remain open.

Original Article Below:

Alberta Health Services (AHS) announced Monday that laboratory and diagnostic imaging services at the Morinville Clinic will close permanently at the end of day Jan. 31, 2022.

AHS cites low patient volumes, challenges recruiting staff, and the lack of functioning X-ray equipment at the Morinville site. The x-ray equipment has not been functioning for almost two years.

AHS’ website says laboratory services provide the collection of blood and body fluids for tests ordered by a doctor or healthcare provider, including a comprehensive range of routine and specialized lab testing and clinical consultations.

This includes blood and body fluid sample collection, biochemistry and toxicology, electrocardiogram (ECG), genetics and genomics, urinalysis, transfusion medicine, hematology, coagulation studies, microbiology, public health testing, serology, surgical pathology, cytopathology, and autopsy pathology.

The AHS release states lab services are available in St. Albert at DynaLIFE’s patient service centre and at Alberta Precision Laboratories’ outpatient lab at Sturgeon Community Hospital. They do not anticipate an impact on wait times for appointments or walk-in service at either facility.

The media release states that general X-ray service is available in St. Albert at the MIC Summit Centre and the Sturgeon Community Hospital, both of which have served Morinville patients since X-ray service was discontinued in Morinville in February of 2020.

Alberta Health Services states the changes are being made as part of ongoing efforts to “continue providing safe, high-quality lab and diagnostic imaging services for all Albertans as we continue to address staffing challenges across Alberta.”

Local lab and diagnostic imaging staff will be reassigned to nearby facilities in alignment with their respective collective agreements.

The release states all other clinic services would remain open in Morinville.

This would include the Adult Day Programs, designed for adults over the age of 18 who may have physical and/or memory challenges or are living with a chronic illness.

Information about community lab service locations, hours of operation and appointment bookings can be found at www.albertaprecisionlabs.ca or call 1-877-868-6848.

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13 Comments

  1. Very sad day with for our community coming up on 11,000 people to lose these important specialized lab testing services, maybe with luck our Hon. Dale Nally our MLA have time rescue this closure.
    Danny

  2. How about the people that can’t drive to st.albert to get blood test done. What are supposed to do?
    Thanks to our Premier Jason Kennedy who really knows how to put the knife in the back of his own people that who voted for him into politics. You sure know how to say screw you people Shinedown at good vital Services there in between districts. I hope this makes you happy Jason Kenney and in all following auditions local and federal provincial people.

  3. This is extremely disappointing. Low patient volumes seems highly unlikely since the it takes 3-5 business days to secure an appointment. Our community has expanded rapidly, now well over 10000 and we capture a large catchment area. With families and seniors with limited mobility (and no public transit) this pulls the plug on basic health care for many of our neighbours. Out of date X-ray equipment points to mismanagement and/or a complete lack of political will to maintain service. I am by no means a conspiracy theorist, but who is benefit from this closure? Who’s connect to the privately run labs here?

  4. I use these lab services multiple times a year. Each time the available appointments have been 3 to 7 days out. I am not sure how they can say there are low patient counts when every day is fully booked. The number of available appointments on the web seems to be only a couple every 15 minutes. Has this been set too low?

    Indeed a step backwards for our community.

    The staff at this facility have always been excellent!

  5. Very Sad, lived here 40 years and we have always had a lab.
    I worry what will happen to the Seniors program that is held in that building.

  6. Very sad also that morinville needs 7 liquor stores and the health care is being permanently shut down.

    • I agree this service needs to stay in Morinville. There are lots of elderly in the town and neighboring communities. There are also people with handicaps that will be impacted also as they will have to find family or friends to take them in.

      If you want to make cuts start streamlining the excessive amount of managers in the AHS. The AHS is very top heavy and those resources saved would keep these lab services in smaller communities that need them.

    • Close the one in Gibbons and spend a little money updating and repairing the one here.

  7. GREAT time and job for our new Mayor! Time for face to face with our MLA.
    Perhaps an open letter to the Premier in an Edmonton newspaper while he is at Zero at the polls might help save our clinic. Instead of closing we should be expanding services especially because even with exray working, building was way under utilized.

  8. I hope there will be a follow up story with details of current wait times for walk in / booking times currently in St Albert, and if staffing / hours of operation will be adjusted.
    As well, I would appreciate an interview with our MLA on this point specifically

  9. Email your MLA. Dale Nally. Morinville.st albert@assembly.ab.ca
    Minister of health. health.minister@gov.ab.ca
    Jason Kenny. premier@gov.ab.ca
    I just sent an email to all 3. With a population over over 10,000 , with many seniors without transportation ( no buses) this is irresponsible. Check out when the next appointment is available in St Albert. I did January 27. Check out Morinville – 1 appointment available tomorrow but several on Thursday!

  10. The stated reasons given by AHS and the extremely short timelines hint at political interference. As previously mentioned by others and contradictory to the AHS statement, the service seems to be well used. I have always found the staff to be friendly, helpful and accommodating.
    I would think that Morinville town council, Sturgeon County council, all local medical offices, the Chamber of Commerce, our local MLA and the Opposition Health critic would raise their voices against this, another loss of an important service. We don’t need more reasons to take yet more business into St. Albert.
    If you want to keep the service here, let them know at:
    Morinville Town Council: https://tinyurl.com/2b4384j4 (this link was very long so I shrank it)
    Sturgeon County Council: https://www.sturgeoncounty.ca/Government/County-Council/Contact-Council
    Morinville Chamber of Commerce: chamber@morinvillechamber.com
    MLA Dale Nally: Morinville.StAlbert@assembly.ab.ca
    David Shepherd, Opposition Critic for Health: Edmonton.CityCentre@assembly.ab.ca

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