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More of the same: More talk, no action on rural health care in Alberta

CALGARY, AB (September 23, 2014): With numerous studies on the challenges in Alberta health care, patients do not need more reviews and panels, they need concrete action to improve access to the system and quality of care, Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said today.

“The problems facing our health care system in the different parts of rural Alberta are obvious: more rural physicians, more investment in primary care, scrapping the divorce by nursing home policy, fixing ambulance wait times and more decentralized decision making,” Forsyth said. “There has been no shortage of reports, reviews and studies.  We don’t need 90 days to watch more government studies gather dust on the shelf. We need action.”

In 2010, Alberta Health Services (AHS) developed the Community and Rural Health Planning Framework. It was updated again in Oct. 2012.  There is already a Rural Physician Action Plan funded under the Ministry of Health.

Further, there are already 132 detailed profiles community profiles of most urban and rural areas across the province, known as primary health care community profiles.  In Olds, where the government made today’s announcement, there is already a detailed list of the health care demands facing the local community and what services are available.

“We know the data. The problems are clear. The only thing missing is a government willing to bring on the positive changes our health care system needs,” Wildrose Human Services and Seniors Critic Kerry Towle said. “We don’t need more reviews, more panels, more studies, and more of the same. We need a bold new approach that tackles these issues head on.”