Make strategic investments in healthcare to improve service and reduce costs
Posted on April 29, 2015 by Greg Clark
The PCs have made us too dependent on oil…
Now they want to raise your taxes and introduce healthcare premiums (which don’t go to healthcare) while they cut healthcare services by $1 billion. The PCs’ latest budget cuts health spending, while ignoring inflation and the 80,000 people expected to move to Alberta this year.
The PCs say these cuts won’t affect service delivery. Healthcare professionals say otherwise:
"Significant cuts to Alberta’s beleaguered health care system and the loss of close to 1,700 jobs at Alberta Health Services cannot be implemented without impacting the ability of front-line staff to deliver safe and high quality health care." United Nurses of Alberta President, Heather Smith
Reorganize, again and again...
After several reorganizations of Alberta’s health system, the PCs consolidated 9 regional health authorities and four health agencies into Alberta Health Services (AHS). The PCs claimed that having a “superboard” would make the healthcare system more efficient. However, when the government didn’t like the decisions of their “superboard”, they fired them and have never replaced them. Now, the PCs are planning yet another reorganization.
The Alberta Party has a better way.
The Alberta Party would fix the broken revenue system the PCs created, starting by reducing our dependence on oil and gas royalties and implementing a “smart” infrastructure investment plan. Our province has the resources needed to give our families the healthcare they need.
The Alberta Party will make investments in healthcare to improve services and reduce costs in the long-term. We will:
1. Reverse the PCs’ billion dollar cut to healthcare and guarantee stable funding that matches population growth and inflation.
The Alberta Party will fight to ensure our front line services keep up with our growing population and inflation.
2. Reduce operating costs by investing in long term care beds that will free up acute care beds in our hospitals and ensure that patients are not being treated in hallways.
Our families deserve quality healthcare where they are treated in with dignity and respect, not in crowded hospital hallways. The Alberta Party would reduce healthcare operating costs by investing in sufficient long term care beds so that acute care beds are available for those who need them most.
3. Reduce operating costs in our acute care system by investing in preventative care.
The Alberta Party would create a comprehensive long-term preventative care plan to reduce healthcare costs by lessening the burden on our acute care system.
4. Ensure seniors can live comfortably in their own homes longer through better home care.
The Alberta Party would implement a seniors strategy which supports people aging in their own homes and staying in their communities. This will reduce overall healthcare costs, improve capacity and, most importantly, improve the quality of life for seniors across Alberta.
5. Invest in critical health infrastructure projects long-delayed by the PCs.
The Alberta Party will use Alberta’s excellent credit rating and access to low interest rates to borrow the funds needed to build the health facilities including the long overdue Calgary Cancer Centre and make the necessary upgrades to Edmonton’s Misericordia hospital.
Calgary’s Cancer Centre must be built on a single site to ensure world class treatment for Southern Albertans. The experts all agree that splitting the cancer centre on two sites will result in worse care for our cancer patients. The Alberta Party will fight to have it built at the original site at the Foothills Hospital so that residents of Southern Alberta can have access to the same type of care Northern Albertans receive at Edmonton’s Cross Cancer Institute.
6. Improve access to mental health and addiction treatment.
Our province needs to fully implement an effective mental health strategy with a focus on community care. Mental illness and substance abuse can have a devastating impact on individuals, families and our communities. We need to ensure we treat mental health with as much compassion as we do with physical health.