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NDP's misguided priorities leaving sterile instrument upgrades at risk: Wildrose

Documents accessed through the freedom of information process (FOIP) demonstrate that the NDP government’s ideological moves to maintain centralized laundry services and buy back lab services in Edmonton are coming at the expense of other crucial projects including sterile instrument upgrades, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman made the unilateral decisions to maintain centralized laundry services outside Calgary and Edmonton and to buy back lab services in Edmonton and Northern Alberta, both of which will take up valuable dollars that could have been used to complete the urgent $93 million upgrade of provincial sterile instrument and medical devices. The FOIP states that “accreditation reviews have already identified many areas of non-compliance, and continued neglect to those issues may result in shutting down of some MDR (Medical Device Reprocessing) areas.”
 
Without upgrades to sterile instrument equipment, patient safety will be at risk.
 
“It’s deeply disappointing to see that ideology has replaced common sense when it comes to identifying healthcare priorities,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Particularly in this economic downturn, we need to ensure that hard earned tax dollars are going to healthcare costs that will improve the lives of Albertans.”
 
Wildrose has previously pushed the NDP government to put patient care as top of mind and to find cost savings in removing layers upon layers of bureaucrats within AHS.
 
“Albertans deserve to have healthcare dollars being used as efficiently as possible, not for ideological projects like bringing laundry services in house when private options are the most cost effective,” Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Drew Barnes said. “When a priority like sterilization of equipment is put on the back burner, even though it has been identified as a problem for years by the Auditor General, we need to reevaluate.”