The Leg­isla­tive Re­view

The Drumheller Mail - - SPORTS -

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

Ru­ral Hos­pi­tals

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