Premier of Alberta abandons any pretense he’s “protecting” health care

“Alberta can’t afford Kenney’s plan for health care. In the end, patient care suffers as desperately-needed funds are sent out of the province.” — Mike Parker, HSAA President

Edmonton (10 July 2020) — "Bill 30 is about selling off our world-class public health system to private interests. That means funds meant for patient care will now be used for profits,” says Mike Parker, President of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA/NUPGE). “Most often, that means sending health-care dollars, and professionals, out of Alberta. And we simply cannot afford that right now.

“At least Kenney had the decency to admit he’s no longer pretending to care about ‘protecting’ health care.”

Bill 30 fails to take knowledge gained during the pandemic into consideration

One of the first measures in the bill is changing the name of the Healthcare Protection Act to the Health Facilities Act. “The health of Albertans and our health care are commodities to Jason Kenney,” added Parker. “This bill continues this government’s ideological path towards privatizing health care and that is dangerous for Albertans.”

Bill 30 is based on a pre-COVID report that did not take into account what we’ve learned about the private system’s inability to respond to public emergencies like a pandemic. Several countries repatriated private health-care operations including Spain which took over because private providers refused to accept potential COVID patients. “What’s going to happen when things go wrong in private facilities?” asked Parker. “Are we going to see Canadian soldiers in their camouflage running into surgical suites to mop up when the private system fails like it did in long-term care centres?”

Well documented that private health care provides worse service than public health care

“As Alberta is recognized around the world for its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenney and his health minister have forgotten their praise for the highly-trained professionals who made the response possible,” Parker adds. “To be doing this in the face of all the evidence showing the importance of a strong, public health system just does not make sense.”

“Alberta can’t afford Kenney’s plan for health care,” continued Parker. “In the end, patient care suffers as desperately-needed funds are sent out of the province.”

“Health matters to all of us. Don’t destroy it. Let’s make it better.”

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 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