During a meeting with Mayor Jeff Genung, Alberta Health minister Jason Copping acknowledged AHS is dealing with several issues, including EMS, and will soon be releasing more information on how they will be addressing regional issues.

Mayor Genung met virtually with Copping during last week's convention of the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) to discuss concerns over ambulance response times in Cochrane.

Genung was told AHS is dealing with backlog and capacity challenges created by COVID, and that it's focusing on addressing a range of physician, staff, health care, and emergency management issues.

"Burnout and mental health are real in AHS and EMS, and that they are pursuing international recruitment as well as local educational partners," says Genung.

The mayor says AHS anticipates rolling out regional information before Christmas that includes short, mid, and long-term strategies on some of the issues the local EMS Citizens' Action Committee has been discussing.

"I was appreciative of him acknowledging that there are issues and that they are willing to work and deal with them," says Genung.

An in-person follow-up meeting between the minister and mayor will take place in the New Year.