Legacy Media Spinning for AHS; Deflecting Criticism from Poor Performance on ICU Beds

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on September 29, 2021

Since The National Telegraph, and UCP MLA Shane Clayton Getson, starting pointing out flaws in the statements made by Alberta Health Service CEO Dr. Verna Yiu on ICU beds, and AHS’ overall performance, the legacy media has begun to spin for the AHS and has ignored evidence of inefficiency in their operations. 

Jason Herring wrote for the Edmonton Journal in an article titled “Doctors defend AHS head Dr. Yiu after MLA questions fourth-wave handling,” quoted MLA Getson stating that Albertans should be “getting more bang for our buck” from the AHS but never gave further context to his statement. This makes it seem as if Getson is attacking Dr. Yiu and unfairly demanding AHS stretch its normal budget in order to deal with the increase in hospitalizations in the fourth wave of COVID-19. It is an incredibly misleading framing of the issue, to say the least.

Below is one of Getson’s original Facebook posts that the legacy media and NDP activists have been reacting to so you can read the full context.

Getson is simply criticizing the fact that despite the UCP government providing more funds to AHS so they could increase the ICU bed capacity by 1,000, the current number of ICU beds in use has remained minimal. Premier Jason Kenney back in April of 2020 even confirmed that AHS could expand ICU bed capacity to over 1,000 but it has never actually been done.


Herring in his article, and writers in other supposedly objective publications, is blatantly missing the point of the criticisms against AHS and is just quoting doctors who will push the narrative that the AHS is heroic and that UCP MLAs are the villains.

Herring quoted emergency physician Dr. Shazma Mithani, a strong NDP supporter evident from her Twitter profile, who pushed the false narrative that because AHS has been creating new ICU beds it means criticism from outlets like TNT or MLA Getson is wrong. 

Dr. Mithani said in the Edmonton Journal article regarding supposed ICU bed shortages that:

This is because of the poor policy decisions of government. AHS is not the one to blame here. Dr. Verna Yiu is not the one to blame here. They are bending over backwards and moving heaven and earth to make ICU beds. The only reason they have to do this is because of the poor leadership and the poor policy and decision-making by our provincial leaders, our elected officials.

While it is positive that AHS has created more ICU beds than 0, it is also a fact that the UCP government funded 1,491 ICU beds for 2021, yet AHS is using far fewer beds than that. How is it that Dr. Verna Yiu and the rest of the AHS executives deserve no blame for having been slow in making ICU beds when the resources were provided by the elected officials?

Note that this official government update presentation says that “AHS plans” on increasing the capacity, which means it wasn’t just something the UCP government was just asserting the AHS should do.

Note that this official government update presentation says that “AHS plans” on increasing the capacity, which means it wasn’t just something the UCP government was just asserting the AHS should do. (This was a slide from a presentation from April of 2020)

Dr. Yiu said back during a September 23 press conference that 310 patients were in ICU in Alberta. She claimed this was the most patients in ICU in the province’s history, which TNT was able to debunk. She also said that the only reason ICU were not being overwhelmed was due to patients dying, which was later shown to be untrue when AHS retroactively edited their ICU bed numbers proving availability was not strained.

Herring in his article cites AHS increasing ICU beds by 195, making the total 368 as if it overcomes the niggling little reality that the funds to operate 1,123 more ICU beds is still available.

The AHS simply increasing the number of ICU is only relatively good compared to a hypothetical situation where they didn’t increase capacity at all. The increases relative to the funds AHS has been given have been minimal, seeing as only around one 25 percent of ICU beds funded have been made available.

AHS CEO Dr. Verna Yiu (Photo from CTV News Edmonton)

AHS CEO Dr. Verna Yiu (Photo from CTV News Edmonton)

The media is spinning for the AHS and quoting both left-wing activist doctors and the NDP directly as if their defenses of inefficiency within AHS is a legitimate counterargument against the data that proves AHS was given far more funds than they are currently utilizing to solve the claimed shortages of ICU beds.

The media is pretending to be objectively reporting on the situation but they are obviously framing their stories in such a way to make it seem like UCP MLAs like Shane Getson are attacking hero doctors. If the media was being responsible they would be asking Dr. Verna Yiu why they have not increased the number of ICU beds months ago, seeing as AHS has 1,400 ICU beds funded in 2021.

Wyatt Claypool

Wyatt is a student at Mount Royal University, where he is the president of its Campus Conservative club. In his writing, he focuses on covering provincial and federal politics, firearms regulation, and the energy sector. Wyatt has also previously written for The Post Millennial.

3 responses to “Legacy Media Spinning for AHS; Deflecting Criticism from Poor Performance on ICU Beds”

  1. Dr Khan says:

    the AHS is a money-laundering operation for corrupt bureaucrats

    • Gaius says:

      yup. More spending per-capita than any other province. Abysmal performance. Not suggesting a total gutting of the system, but a major overhaul is needed if 300 ICU patients collapse the entire system.

  2. Gaius says:

    It’s clear Alberta’s leadership is just as corrupt as the leadership of the other provinces. Deliberate ignorance of several key facts such as efficacy of vitamin d3, zinc, c, quercetin, and ivermectin. Just those aforementioned substances taken regularly by most of the population would eradicate the virus within 6 weeks. Since AHS or Health Canada won’t do it, we’ll have to do it ourselves. That’s why I’ve set up Info-Ivermectin@pm.me to assist Canadians wishing to discreetly obtain ivermectin. You can order your other vitamins from amazon 😛