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Shorter Queues, Better Service: Improving Healthcare For Seniors

April 6, 2012 (Calgary, AB): Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith today highlighted how a Wildrose government would ensure better, more timely healthcare for seniors by implementing an Alberta Patient Wait Time Guarantee. "Despite record levels of spending by the PC government, Alberta's seniors are facing ever-lengthening queues for vital medical procedures, which is completely unacceptable," Smith said.  


"Alberta shouldn't just have a better healthcare system, we should have the best healthcare system in the country." The Alberta Patient Wait Time Guarantee will help seniors by: Ensuring they get access to 10 critical health procedures within the wait time benchmarks set by the Canadian Wait Time Alliance of medical professionals.  If Alberta's public healthcare system can't meet these benchmarks, Alberta Health Insurance will pay to have the procedures performed at independent facilities inside or outside the province. Adding capacity and encouraging competition in our healthcare system by allowing a mix of public and private health care delivery, which is in keeping with the spirit and the letter of the Canada Health Act. Implementing a Protection of Public Health Care Guarantee that commits the Government to increasing the number of publicly insured health procedures and treatments performed in Alberta until the clinically acceptable wait time benchmarks are achieved. Providing openness and accountability in Alberta's health care system by publishing wait times for all publicly-insured health services at all Alberta hospitals and clinics. The estimated cost of the Alberta Patient Wait Time Guarantee is $180 million annually. "Our Wildrose prescription for healthcare is innovative, practical, and affordable.  We will put an end to seniors languishing too long in healthcare queues, in pain and in danger," Smith said.  "Alberta seniors have worked hard all their lives, often putting the needs of others before their own.  It's high time the province had a government that put their needs first."