162-The Ghost Hospital

In 1994, the province ordered the closure of Calgary General amidst recession and the fear of an unbalanced budget. Calgary General’s closure was fought tooth and nail as it was the city’s only hospital equipped with an emergency room. The province continued to undermine public healthcare for over a decade, shuttering hospitals across the province and laying off doctors and nurses who are now in short supply. However, these hospitals aren't truly gone. Like people, places can sometimes leave an impression behind. More of one if it’s etched in blood. If you’re ever downtown and you find yourself in need of medical attention, try this:

The old hospital site was in Bridgeland, although it’s impossible to get to the hospital from there now. Instead, you must wait until the lock up. Around that time, antiquated looking ambulances will start circulating in the city. Flag one down and board it, and tell them you need to get to the hospital. The driver won’t be able to care for your injuries. He’s a driver, not a paramedic. However, he’ll drop you off at Calgary General. Unlike the Ambulance, Calgary General will be as it was in its height: one of the leading medical centres in the country. Of course, everything will be about fifteen years out of date.

Leaving is, unfortunately, more difficult. They get so few patients. They need the practice.

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