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Superboard changes once again leave patients behind: Wildrose

 EDMONTON, AB (September 10, 2013): Today’s changes atop the Alberta Health Services organizational chart don’t address the ever widening gap between health care decision-makers and patients on the ground, the Wildrose said today.  

Reassigning a handful of senior executives while maintaining a centralized health care delivery model will do nothing to improve patient outcomes or wait time achievements, Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith said.  “The changes announced today amount to little more than a few dozen of senior health executives getting new business cards,” Smith said. “I heard nothing about actually changing how health care is delivered to achieve wait time targets or improve patient outcomes. Until we finally realize that a centralized health superboard isn’t the answer, we won’t see meaningful improvements in patient care.”  Smith reiterated the Wildrose position that health care delivery must be decentralized and concentrated in the hands of local decision-makers and health professionals.  “Our health system must become more nimble, flexible and responsive to patients and the Superboard continues to be the single biggest roadblock to achieving that,” Smith said. “I don’t think shuffling around a few senior health executives at the top of our giant bureaucracy is going to mean very much in the way of treating more patients.”  Smith also points out that while AHS will go from 80 vice-presidents to 10, they are only eliminating five positions, which means 75 VPs will remain in the organization with different job titles.  Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said firing five vice-presidents does not address the problems the system faces.  “Our health care professionals are the glue that holds our system together and they have been very clear for years; we need more local decision-making,” Forsyth said. “Getting rid of five vice-presidents just doesn’t help.”