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Surgery cut backs in Edmonton will harm patients: Forsyth

EDMONTON, AB (September 12, 2013): Days after Health Minister Fred Horne’s bureaucratic shuffle of executives, the PC government continues to harm patient care through surgery cut backs instead of targeting its wasteful and bloated bureaucracy, Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said today. 


An internal memo obtained by the CBC shows AHS officials warning of budget reductions of up to 5 per cent in the Edmonton region, which could lead to 2,500 surgeries being axed. It was also revealed today that both Health Deputy Minister Janet Davidson and AHS Administrator Dr. John Cowell will make $580,000 annual salaries. 

“On the same day we find out that not one, but two senior health officials are making over a half million dollars, we also find out that surgeries for everyday Albertans are being slashed,” Forsyth said. “Somehow this PC government continues to make decisions that harm patient care instead of taking aim at layers of waste and mismanagement. Quite frankly, it’s wrong and it’s time that we start thinking about putting the interests of patients first.” 

Forsyth said considering the fact Albertans are facing some of the worst wait times in the country, the idea of drawing back surgeries for patients is especially short-sighted. 

“We’re talking about patients who are already in pain, and for some, have already waited months for their surgery,” Forsyth said.  “To ask patients to wait longer just isn’t right.  The minister has been saying under the latest restructuring he wants to put patients first, well this is an opportunity for him to do just that.”