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Forsyth statement on rural health review

EDMONTON, AB (March 18, 2015): Today, Wildrose Leader Heather Forsyth released the follow statement on the release of the Rural Health Care review:

“Ever since the PC government centralized health and ambulance delivery over five years ago, there have been attempted band-aid fixes that fail to address the overarching problems facing our health care system.

“On local delivery, AHS has previously put forward five regional zones, and 12 separate Health Advisory Councils.  Both have been sold to Albertans as a mechanism to increase the role of local communities in health care.

“And while we are hopeful these new districts will lead to the badly needed improvements in rural care, they sound like another re-write of a broken script.  The reality is the core of the problem facing health care in our province remains the same today as it was yesterday: a centralized health model with all the power remaining in Edmonton.

“While many of the recommendations in the report on EMS delivery are what we have heard from communities across Alberta, the fact is a centralized EMS service delivery model is what caused many of the problems we’re facing toady. Further, for two years, the Wildrose has been asking for improved transportation alternatives for non-emergency patient transfers, with still no plan implemented, leaving many Albertans with little faith many of these recommendations will be put to use.

“The Wildrose will continue to advocate for decentralizing health care decision making out of the hands of one centralized board in Edmonton, and put forward meaningful reforms to improve access to care.”