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Despite record spending, wait times reach all time high: Wildrose

EDMONTON, AB (October 28, 2013): Revelations today that Albertans have never paid more for health care and waited longer for treatment show, once again, why the Wildrose Patient Wait-Time Guarantee is needed, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.  A report issued today by the Fraser Institute shows that wait times have increased by 24 per cent in the past year alone and says that over the past three years there has been no progress made in cutting wait times for patients waiting for specialty treatments.  

“Despite spending over $17 billion on health care, the total time a patient waits for health care is now at an all time high.  Albertans have never waited longer,” Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said.  “The problem is not a lack of funding, but a problem that exists in the dated and backwards thinking this out of touch PC government has applied to the delivery of health care in Alberta.  That’s why we need the Wildrose plan to shrink wait times.”  The Wildrose Patient Wait Times Guarantee would ensure that Albertans on wait lists or longer than the Canadian Wait Time Alliance Benchmarks for 10 major health procedures may choose to have their procedure performed at an independent facility in or out of province, and to have that procedure paid by Alberta Health Insurance.  Today’s report also showed alarming trends in specific surgery wait times.  Currently, Albertans are waiting an astonishing 128 weeks for cornea transplants, compared to 24 weeks for Nova Scotia residents.  “No matter who this government puts in charge, things just are not getting better,” Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said. “This is impacting real Albertans and Albertans deserve real answers and a government who cares about them.”