How did The AHS Misplace 1,081 ICU Beds?

Written By Wyatt Claypool, Posted on October 16, 2021

The National Telegraph has been doing a lot of reporting on the fiasco that has been the Alberta Health Services response to the 4th wave of COVID-19, which has been ignored by the legacy media who want to fully blame Alberta’s UCP government for any issues. If anything the UCP’s greatest failure could be the lack of accountability they have placed on AHS. 

One major issue that has tended to be overlooked in TNT’s coverage of AHS and the retroactive editing of their data and misinformation coming out from the CEO Dr. Verna Yiu, is the funded ICU bed numbers.

Supposedly Alberta is on the constant verge of running out of ICU beds, with occupancy rates punching up into the 90 percent range, which seems odd considering that COVID-19 has existed for nearly two years now and seemingly ICU bed capacity has not been expanded. 

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This is one issue that cannot be blamed on the UCP government. In 2021 the UCP funded an extra 1,081 ICU beds over the usual 400 funded beds that AHS receives during a normal year. Despite this AHS has only been using less than the 400 beds they typically have funded.

AHS in an official update presentation back in early April of 2020 said that they “plan to be able to increase ICU capacity by 1,081 beds for COVID-19 patients by the end of April, if necessary.” This seems to be why the UCP increased the number of funded ICU bed, as AHS showed they could use the beds to deal with surges in COVID-19 patients.

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Albertans should be concerned with the competence of the managers of AHS if they say they can increase ICU capacity by more than 1,000 beds, yet months later are in a state of panic over not having enough beds to deal with the spike in hospitalizations for COVID-19. During the 4th wave spike, there were even times when AHS was using less than 300 beds.


The fact CBC was able to walk into an Alberta hospital and take photos of mannequins in ICU with ventilators seriously puts the shortage of beds into question. If ICUs are at risk of facing shortages to the point that non-emergency surgeries have to be cancelled, then camera crews definitely should not be wasting beds for photoshoots.


It is almost as if AHS knows they have easy access to more beds than they indicate in their data and press conferences, so they did not think twice about letting the CBC waste a bed for some news articles.

Some have argued that the reason more ICU beds are not available is due to a shortage of nurses and doctors, but if that is true, it should only demonstrate the foolishness of suspending medical staff who are not vaccinated.

So how has AHS, Dr. Verna Yiu, and the rest of the AHS executives continued to avoid scrutiny despite all the provable issues with the hospital system seeming to point back at policies and incompetent management from within? Instead, political activists and the legacy media have focused on Premier Jason Kenney and the UCP government allowing Albertans to live freely during the summer, despite other jurisdictions proving lockdown measures have a negligible effect on the spread of COVID-19.

It seems like AHS has been deemed as unquestionable as if representing the medical system automatically makes whatever they do correct, which has allowed for inefficiency and incompetence to take over within the system.

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.

14 responses to “How did The AHS Misplace 1,081 ICU Beds?”

  1. Gaius says:

    The UCP & AHS leadership is completely incompetent. Where’s the emergency funding framework to contract qualified nurses from US states? I remember the big media spectacle about "military assistance" which amounted to what, 8 nurses? If the staffing issue was real, then the way in which it was handled would make any third world country cringe.

    The best way to deal with the AHS incompetence is to make sure you never end up in the hospital. An inexpensive way to do this of course is to mass-adopt ivermectin, but that will probably never happen as Kenney recently put it "I don’t understand all these ivermectin fans" and claimed we were living in a fantasy world.

    This is why after successfully obtaining ivermectin IN Canada I decided to share the information with others. As many Canadians as possible using ivermectin would be the biggest FU to the UCP/AHS/Trudeau, and it would be glorious seeing them fume after finding out. If you want the complete details, simply fire off an email to



    • Nata says:

      Totally agree, It is a crime what they are doing to the people. Only their word matter, no other opinion exist.

  2. Meghan says:

    Why didn’t Kenny spend our transfer payments from the Fed Gov to assist our hospitals in a ‘crisis’……?

  3. Bob says:

    "back in early April said that they “plan to be able to increase ICU capacity by 1,081 beds for COVID-19 patients by the end of April, if necessary.” " This was early April 2020, at the start of the pandemic. Not April 2021.

    • Wyatt Claypool says:

      Thanks Bob, I made the correction to the article. I honestly didn’t realize it was 2020 instead of 2021. Maybe my mind assumed it would be too stupid for AHS to say they could do it back in 2020 and have more than a year go by without anyone asking them about that until TNT got around to it.

  4. B Pre says:

    Keep on posting this article. People in Calgary have no idea what the core problem is. And for Kenney to blame this dilemma on the unvaccinated is despicable! How can we ever trust another politician??

  5. Kenneth Flecknell says:

    OK, so the AHS has been given the funds to produce extra ICU beds. Bring the total from 400 to 1,481 beds. They did not require them, so should the hospitals and the AHS services refund the money to the Provincial government? With an explanation that the pandemic was not as serious as they had planned for, with an apology of course. ( For scaring the heck out of the public! )

  6. Kenneth Flecknell says:

    Oh, as an after thought, should they demand that all news services print a retraction of every article that used this inflammatory action to terrify the public at large?

  7. Bill Smith says:

    Excellent article. This issue is why many MLA’s are so mad at JK. JK is allowing AHS to get away with incompetence. It’s not right. AHS is not doing a good job.

  8. Christine Ashcroft says:

    If this has happened there then I wonder how many other hospitals in Canada this is happening with. I would like to see you investigate the other ones

  9. Denis Meier says:

    UCP MLA Shane Getson brought this to light in September.

  10. A very concerned and horrified Albertan says:

    It’s truly a gong show! AHS has not been held accountable for their gross mishandling and malfeasance related to all things over the last 2 years! Not to mention fir a very long time if you look at their very poor history of caring for Albertans

  11. Bill says:

    My thought is there has not been a new hospital built in the Edmonton area in over 40 years. The amount of ICU beds is still at the amount from 40 Years ago. Our population has grown over the last 40 tears with births and immigration why haven’t they been planning for the growth of the population. Can they not see past the end of their nose?

  12. Barb says:

    These facts must be brought to the public’s attention again! No doubt there will be another "wave" this winter and the same scare tactics. The public has no idea what’s really going on.