March 10, 2017

Jean motion would lead to a reduction in wait times for Albertans

On Monday, Wildrose Leader Brian Jean will present a Motion for debate in the Legislature urging the government to immediately act to reduce wait times for patients suffering across the health care system, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

If passed, Motion 501 would be the first step towards finding real, substantive solutions to long surgical and diagnostic wait times in Alberta. The Motion would call on the government to complete a report within 90 days of passing that,

  • Identifies the barriers that cause excessive wait times;
  • Estimates the costs of long wait times in terms of lost productivity and deteriorating patient health; and,
  • Proposes and evaluates cost-effective solutions, including best practices from other provinces.

Jean said the NDP government has been too focused on inflating an already bloated and centralized bureaucracy at Alberta Health Services (AHS) instead of putting forward real, innovative solutions to improve the lives of patients.

“I don’t want any family to have the same experience my family has had with the health care system and it’s time we identify the problems and mirror solutions implemented in neighbouring provinces and countries that have led to shorter wait times and a better quality of life for patients,” Jean said. “Access to a wait list is not access to health care. We can and must do better for Albertans struggling with pain and sickness.”

Alberta has the second worst wait times among all non-maritime provinces, with median wait times over five months across all procedures. Alberta’s wait times are now three weeks more than the national average.

Saskatchewan is the only province in Canada where wait times are considered clinically reasonable by physicians. Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Tany Yao said the NDP should look to Saskatchewan’s success story so Alberta can be a leader in providing world-class health care.

“There’s no reason Alberta shouldn’t have the best health care system in Canada, but right now it’s too slow, too centralized and too unresponsive to the needs of Albertans,” Yao said. “The NDP government only knows how to spend money but not how to actually improve the health care system. We hope they will move away from ideology and support this Motion.”

Quick Facts:

  • According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the average wait time for hip replacement surgery for 90 per cent of patients is 209 days
  • The average wait time for knee replacement surgery for 90 per cent of patients is 237 days
  • The average wait time for cataract surgery for 90 per cent of patients is 224 days
  • The average wait time for an MRI scan for 90 per cent of patients is 172 days
     

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