EDMONTON, AB: NDP Health Minister Sarah Hoffman’s flip flop on funding for Primary Care Networks (PCNs) in Alberta demonstrates a set of misguided priorities, lack of transparency in the Legislature, and is causing instability on the front lines where money is needed most, Wildrose Health Shadow Minister Drew Barnes said today.
“Ms. Hoffman is acting in blatant opposition to promises and commitments she has made in the public arena on this issue,” Barnes said. “The chaos and instability she claimed to be putting an end to will reign supreme if the Minister cannot be trusted to stick to her word, and the AHS bureaucracy is made a priority over front line services for Albertans.”
Over 3.2 million Albertans depend on PCNs for delivery of primary care services close to home, including doctors, nurses, dieticians and pharmacists.
"Patient-centred health care has been, and always will be, the primary focus of Wildrose when it comes to improving our bloated and underperforming system,” Barnes said. “NDP indecision on funding for PCNs, including this backtracking on earlier commitments, will only lead to confusion and the inability for local care providers to properly plan and provide their services.”
Through an Interim Supply Bill passed by the NDP in June, an additional $500 million was allocated for health care spending. If this money is not going towards PCNs, a half a billion dollars could instead be spent on growing the size of the bureaucracy within the system.