HSAA tells Alberta government: Fix the revenue problem

"When the government cuts a dollar in health-care spending to balance its books, it is the patients who bleed." - HSAA/NUPGE submission to government's Dollars and Sense consultations.

Edmonton (02 Nov. 2012) - The Alberta government issued a question for Albertans to answer in preparation for its next budget: "What would you do if you were Finance Minister?" Rising to the challenge, the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE) has delivered its submission to the province's consultation on Alberta's fiscal future.

In it, the HSAA/NUPGE tells the government that "For too long, the Alberta government has relied on volatile revenue from non-renewable resources, including oil and gas, to fund everyday vital public services including health care and education."

Plus government has not put away enough savings from any sell offs of resources to ensure economic stability for the long term.

On the frontlines of health care, HSAA/NUPGE members have seen what happens to vulnerable Albertans when provincial government revenue slumps as commodities prices fall. Surpluses quickly turn into deficits – and deficits lead to intense pressure to cut spending on health care.

When the government cuts a dollar in health-care spending to balance its books, it is the patients who bleed.

The submission details how the province’s revenue model can be fixed by balancing the province's account through increased revenue, becoming less dependent on oil and gas money for funding vital day-to-day operations.

"Only then will we be able to create a stable, sustainable program of saving for the future," says HSAA/NUPGE.

More information:

Full HSAA/NUPGE Brief to the Government of Alberta on Dollars & Sense

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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