Media Release: Kenney abandons any pretence he is “protecting” health care

For Immediate Release
July 6, 2020

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) President Mike Parker reacts to today’s tabling of Bill 30: Health Statutes Amendment Act.

Edmonton — 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). “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.”

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?”

“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.”

HSAA is nearly 28,000 health-care professionals dedicated to protecting the public health system and the vulnerable Albertans who rely on it.

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Media inquiries:
Kirk  Heuser,  HSAA Communications Officer
780-690-8199 | kirkh@hsaa.ca