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Wait Time Alliance shows ERs still need fixing

CALGARY, AB (June 19, 2012): Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth says today’s Canadian Wait Time Alliance 2012 report card confirms the Redford government has failed to fix an ongoing crisis in emergency rooms across Alberta while still handing out taxpayer-funded performance bonuses to Superboard executives. 

The report card gives Alberta a ‘D’ grade on meeting benchmarks for five categories of admitted emergency room patients and further indicates no improvement over last year’s emergency room wait time performance. It comes just days after it was revealed that Alberta Health Services executives collected more than $450,000 in performance bonuses in 2011. “The Superboard continues to miss both its own targets and independent benchmarks like the Canadian Wait Times Alliance, yet despite these failures they’re still collecting bonuses,” Forsyth said. “Albertans expect their government to address failures, not reward them.” The report card shows that patients admitted at Alberta emergency rooms have to wait longer for treatment than the eight-hour benchmark for all admitted patients. It also gave Alberta an ‘F’ grade for meeting the four-week MRI wait time benchmark and showed an increase in MRI wait times over 2011. “This report card demonstrates that our public health care system remains broken and our front-line staff are the ones holding it together,” Forsyth said. “Perhaps the government should focus on fixing it before handing out big, undeserved bonuses.”