March 04, 2014
Slave Lake experiment exposes flaws in Premier's family care clinic model
The abrupt resignation of 4 physicians and deteriorating situation at the Slave Lake Family Care Clinic should serve as a warning to Albertans, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today. In 2012, one of three pilot Family Care Clinics was established in Slave Lake, composed of 7 physicians.
Since then, the community has lost 4 of those physicians, its anaesthesiologist, trauma services, and air ambulance. Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth warned the government that if it does not reconsider how health care is being delivered in Slave Lake, residents will ultimately suffer. “Once again this government is pushing ahead on health care decisions with no consultation from communities or health care professionals,” Forsyth said. “Now that it’s clear that something is broken, it’s up to Redford to fix it. When half of the doctors abruptly quit, it should send a message to the government. Things just aren’t working.” Forsyth noted that Slave Lake now has a worse doctor to patient ratio than many developing countries. Wildrose Seniors Critic Kerry Towle trumpeted concerns surrounding FCCs saying the government continues to miss the mark as it tries to centralize critical patient care in Alberta. “If this is any indication of how the PCs plan to restructure Alberta’s primary care system, more communities are in store for doctor shortages like Slave Lake is facing right now,” Towle said.