Alberta Liberal Leader Reacts to UCP Plan to Dismantle Alberta Healthcare

Alberta Liberal Leader John Roggeveen issues the following statement in response to the reveal of the UCP healthcare plan: 

“Danielle Smith’s drastic plan to replace AHS with even more boards, bureaucrats, and red tape is the opposite of what Alberta needs. Even more disturbing is the extra political control the premier’s office will now have over healthcare. 

“The UCP claims they will listen to frontline workers, but this plan proves the opposite. Just a few days ago, the Alberta Medical Association asked the government not to act hastily and to listen to physicians first. Instead, Smith has ignored frontline workers and bulldozed ahead unilaterally with her plan for dramatic changes to the health care system.  

“We are facing a shortage of healthcare workers in all areas and a burnout crisis among healthcare workers here in Alberta. These systemic changes will not address those problems and are demoralizing for healthcare workers, whose input has been ignored. This plan will only scare more doctors away. As the number of bureaucrats rises, the number of healthcare workers will dwindle, making matters worse.

“The UCP justifies this plan based on AHS’s alleged failure to address rising hospitalization rates during the pandemic. But the fault for that lies clearly with the UCP government. The UCP’s lax COVID-19 policies, war with doctors, and failed healthcare policies are the real culprits. Now, they have taken even more control into their own hands. 

“Plans to hive off continuing care and the government having its own funding agreement and contract with Covenant Health separate from AHS also raise alarms. This could set Alberta down the slippery slope of more widespread privatization of healthcare without any proof of benefits from doing so. We all saw how the government botched the delivery of health services through DynaLife. That should have taught the government a lesson, but apparently did not. 

“This UCP healthcare plan appears to be a thinly veiled retaliation for COVID protocols. Our system needs a thoughtful, measured approach based on the experiences of healthcare workers rather than government overreach. I, for one, am committed to listening to our healthcare professionals. I will fight for new payment models and investments in mental health treatments and proactive illness prevention measures.”