Media Release: Kenney’s ignorant plan shows he cannot be trusted with Alberta’s health care

For Immediate Release
March 11, 2019

UCP leader Jason Kenney today demonstrated an appalling ignorance over how health care works in his statement on laboratory services in Alberta, says HSAA, the union of health-care professionals.

“It’s hard to believe that someone with so little understanding wants to be trusted with running our vital health-care service,” says Mike Parker, president of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA), which represent about 26,000 health-care professionals.

“Kenney’s plans for lab services reveals so many misconceptions, mistakes, misleading statements and insults to health-care experts that it’s hard to know where to begin when analysing what he said today (Monday, March 11),” says Parker, who is available to talk to media.

“He says that labs don’t heal people. What on Earth does he think we do in labs? We do the tests that provide the diagnosis so people can be treated. Labs and the trusted health-care experts who work in them are a vital part of the health-care system. Without their skills, doctors are just guessing,” he says.

“Kenney also claims that DynaLIFE can continue operating in its downtown laboratory in Edmonton. We’re proud of the work our members do there, but they will tell you that facility is stretched to the breaking point. There were already plans to build a new lab to meet the growing demand,” says Parker. “Whether you choose private or for-profit, a new lab will have to be built and Albertans will have to pay for it. To suggest otherwise is deliberately misleading.”

Kenney also said after cancelling the new lab planned by Alberta Public Laboratories, the UCP would consult with experts, public servants and Alberta Health Services.

“Talk about waste. Those consultations have already been done and the feedback from experts, including the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) was that a publicly owned and operated province-wide laboratory operation was the best, most efficient way to go,” says Parker.

“Kenney’s plan is to ignore the experts who have already spoken and waste time on money on a pointless new study,” says the HSAA leader. “He also pits people against each other and says a lab in Edmonton will mean that new facilities in Red Deer, Grande Prairie or Lethbridge will have to wait. They have waited for decades as Conservatives delayed, but at least things have started with the NDP government. We simply cannot trust Kenney with health care,” says Parker.

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Mike Parker will be available in the Rotunda at 3:30 p.m. today (March 11).

MEDIA CONTACTS: Mike Parker, HSAA president, 780-984-2154
Terry Inigo-Jones, HSAA Communications, 587-990-3394.