The Legislative Review
It is important as your MLA to clarify recent media reports of rural hospital closures. It seems about every three to six months opposition members start a rumor that some rural hospitals are due to be closed. Our government has committed that in the event of any change in status of a rural health facility that consultations with residents affected will take place first.
The most recent incident involves a working document prepared by a doctor in central Alberta for the former David Thompson Health region. Dr. Brian Inglis is quoted as saying “this was a working document only and he is disappointed he was not contacted first before it was released publicly.”
Alberta Health and Wellness Minister Ron Liepert emphasizes that there are no plans in place to close any of the facilities around the province. He added that “we have committed that if there is a planned change in the status of a facility, there will be prior engagement with that community.”
When the budget was released in April, government was very clear about the status of current health capital projects and said that as part of Vision 2020, services at all existing, approved and proposed hospitals are under review to ensure they reflect local community needs and to see what services could be better delivered in other community settings.
Government’s goal is to improve patient access to health services, not reduce it. We are building a health system that is more focused on meeting patient needs, and want facilities to be providing the appropriate services. we’d be able to maintain vices in rural Alberta.”
We all recognize the challenges of delivering a high quality publicly funded health care system, but we should never lose sight of our goal of building the best health care system that will be there not only for us, but for our children and future generations.
If you have questions about future health care delivery in rural Alberta please contact your MLA, because all too often what is in the media or spoken by opposition parties is not factual.
As the MLA for DrumhellerStettler, I am always available to assist constituents. If you have any questions please contact one of my constituency offices at Stettler 403-742-4284; Drumheller 403- 823- 8181; Hanna 403-854-4333, or in Edmonton at 780-427-5041.
Jack Hayden M.L.A. Drumheller-Stettler Constituency