Alberta’s health care system has arrived at a critical crossroad. Despite massive annual increases in health spending, waiting lists are at all-time highs, patients are left languishing in emergency rooms for hours and sometimes days, finding a family physician is increasingly difficult, and many seniors find it impossible to secure the care they so desperately need.
The PC Government continues to mismanage health care. They have squandered millions of dollars on executive health salaries and bonuses for chronic underperformance. They have centralized control of health care in a massive Health Superboard bureaucracy that has been unresponsive to local needs. They have broken contracts with our most effective health care providers, subjected our health care professionals to intimidation and censorship, and misallocated billions of dollars on projects that are unable to open due to unavailable operating funds and staff shortages.
To be clear, once patients gain access to the system, our doctors and nurses provide treatment that is second to none. However, being forced to wait weeks, months and sometimes years for access to needed health treatments is not health care, it’s a prison sentence that thousands of Albertans are suffering through each and every day.
Alberta’s health care system can be fixed, but we cannot continue to allow the PC Government to repeat the same flawed strategies and expect different results. Reforming health care will take honest and principled leadership. It will take a new government working cooperatively with Albertans and health care professionals to do what is necessary to build a health care system that puts Albertans first. The Wildrose is ready to be that government.
UNIVERSAL PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE
- Our plan upholds the five key principles of the Canada Health Act – health insurance will continue to be publicly administered, comprehensive, universal, portable and accessible
- We will model Alberta’s health care system after successful European systems that have shorter waiting lists and higher patient satisfaction while maintaining reasonable spending levels and public health insurance
- You will not have to pull out your credit card to get service.
DECENTRALIZED HEALTH CARE
- We will dismantle Alberta Health Services and gradually decentralize the delivery of health care to locally managed and integrated hospitals, Primary Care Networks, family physicians, specialty centres, long-term care facilities and other health services
- We will create an independent Health Ombudsman that will report to the Legislature, not the Health Minister, and set up an advisory panel of front-line health care professionals meet with the Minister every two months to keep him/her apprised of emerging issues
- Solutions lie in empowering local decision-makers to determine the course of health care delivery based on the individual needs of local patients
- We will reduce wait times for specialists and procedures by opening delivery of publicly paid services to any accredited private and non-profit provider
- Public, private and non-profit health service providers will be compensated according to the quality and timeliness of the care they give. This will incent hospitals, ERs, surgical centres, specialists, doctors and other providers to provide the best possible care
- As long as Albertans get the treatment they need, when they need it, they don’t care whether it’s delivered in a public hospital or private facility
- It’s time to introduce accountability to the public system.
SENIORS HEALTH CARE
- We will redirect budget resources to expanding home care, empowering seniors to continue living at home while still receiving the proper care
- We will reduce barriers for families, non-profits, charities and businesses who wish to build and operate safe and affordable long-term care, assisted living and palliative care facilities
- We will scrap the PC government’s proposed senior’s drug plan which introduced unfair premiums for thousands of Alberta seniors
- We need to start freeing up acute care beds by getting seniors into the proper care situations
- Nobody is served by the current situation, in which seniors are occupying badly needed beds that don’t meet their needs
- We will make sure patients have full access to their medical records and treatment histories through an improved electronic health record
- We will make electronically available to each Albertan an annual statement of the cost of their health care services that year
- We will disclose waiting lists for all procedures and emergency rooms, the cost of each procedure, and treatment outcomes
- Patients need to have the right information before they make an informed decision as to where they will go to receive health care
- Tracking and disclosing wait times will allow Albertans to see how their system is performing and will help government make improvements to the system
- We will set up tax-free Medical Savings Accounts to pay for treatments and procedures not provided by public insurance
- We will introduce tax incentives for various preventative health measures and activities
- We will guarantee that treatment for AISH/PDD recipients is based on need
- An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Too much money is being spent treating entirely preventable illnesses and conditions