Tories can’t be trusted to safeguard health care

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In regard to heath care, the government of Alberta, under the leadership of Premier Ed Stelmach and Health Minister Ron Liepert, could never be accused of being weak in resolve.

Through the Romanow Commission, the recommendation of the Mazankowski Report and the Kirby Panel Report, Albertans have waited not only patiently, but at times painfully, for the government to show evidence that it fully appreciates the concern of those needing health-care services.

After years of government guidance, our health-care system is fractured almost beyond repair.

In Liepert’s Open Letter to Albertans in some newspapers on May 20, he thanked all the recently dismissed regional board members for their dedication and leadership in improving Alberta’s health system through the years.

It seems difficult to accept that definition of improvement.

The newly formed Alberta Services Board will have much to prove to Albertans. Once again, we are asked to believe that a business model is the only way to deliver efficient and effective health services to our communities.

This is a concept that has been repeatedly rejected.

Ken Hughes, chief executive officer of the interim board, and Charlotte Robb, CEO of the superboard, appear to have sterling backgrounds to excel at the corporate model.

Ordinary citizens may need a measure of education to understand government absolutes when it comes to health care funding.

As Hughes has already signed a performance contract to never go beyond restricted dollar limits set by the health minister, we — the shareholders — can only hope we will not experience any extraordinary medical needs outside those limits.

We may have little choice but to witness a continuing erosion of our public system. But I would like to go on record as having expressed a sincere note of gratitude to all those members of the medical profession who continue to care for us with compassion and skill.

Universal health care has served us well since its inception.

Do we dare to be the province that will only value it as a for-profit entity?

Public health care is a treasure to the people and we should respect it.

Colleen Dennehy

Red Deer


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