EDMONTON, AB (August 19, 2015): Today, Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Drew Barnes called for a firm timeline on the NDP’s review into lab services after new documents released show that Health Minister Sarah Hoffman has willingly gone against the advice of AHS, choosing ideology over safety for Albertans.
The AHS documents were obtained by Wildrose through a freedom of information request. The document is heavily redacted, but clearly shows a thorough review on lab services has already been conducted, and the safety of patients is at immediate risk given the fact that the current arrangement cannot be extended beyond early 2017.
“Ms. Hoffman wants Albertans to believe she made the decision based on a lack of information, but it’s clear she made it based on ideology. Without a decision in the immediate future, there won’t be adequate lab services for people in northern Alberta come 2017,” Barnes said. “The minister owes it to Albertans to open up the redacted AHS briefing documents so they can see for themselves the type of risk to patient safety the NDP have exposed us to. I cannot fathom a reason why the minister would throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
On Aug. 13 Minister Hoffman made the announcement that the NDP government would not be moving forward with any lab projects, claiming that with the proposed model would have been a risky experiment. This stands in direct contradiction to the thorough AHS analysis that compared the costs and benefits of different lab service delivery models.
“When you read the internal AHS documents that show over four years of careful study of this issue, you are left with two choices about why Minister Hoffman made the decision she did,” Barnes said. “Either she has rejected the carefully researched proposal that AHS put forward due to ideological motivation, or because she wasn’t up to speed on her portfolio.”