EDMONTON - Joined by health care providers, NDP Leader Rachel Notley presented her plan for health care today.
"The PCs have created a crisis in health care - anyone who's stepped into an ER lately can tell you that," said Notley. "Albertans deserve a government with the right priorities, the right values, and the right vision to build the healthcare system that our growing province needs."
Notley's plan outlines the first three steps to making the NDP vision of health care a reality:
- Stop the Cuts and Restore Stability: The NDP will build stability by stopping Jim Prentice's reckless healthcare cuts - because more cuts cannot fix the crisis that exists in Alberta hospitals.
- Focus on Patients and Prevent More Chaos: The NDP will cancel the PC plan to spend $9 million dollars on AHS reorganization. Instead of printing new business cards for executives, the NDP will put the focus back on patients.
- End the Shell Game: A total of 34 NHL hockey rinks worth of empty shelled-in space is sitting empty and waiting to be used, while hallway medicine and ER wait times get worse. The NDP will put the 600,000 square feet of hospital space to use serving patients.
"Now more than ever, Alberta needs leadership on health care," said Notley. "Albertans need a government that will make their health care a priority and get to work fixing the crisis, instead of making it worse. We will do that."
NDP HEALTH CARE PLAN
Rachel Notley’s NDP will restore stability and stop the PCs’ cuts, prevent more chaos in our health care system, and end the shell game in Alberta’s hospitals.
- Jim Prentice’s PC budget states that “the ministry [will] absorb $950 million in growth pressures in 2015-16” (Fiscal Plan, pg. 4).
- On top of growth pressures, the PCs are making an additional $160 million in direct cuts to the health care system this year.
- On Friday, New Democrats revealed that there is nearly 600,000 square feet of unfinished “shelled” hospital space sitting in eight hospitals in Calgary, Edmonton, and Red Deer. That’s equal to 34 NHL hockey rinks.
- In recent weeks, New Democrats have revealed the extent of the PC hospital crisis:
- Emergency rooms are facing a severe capacity crisis, with a sharp increase in the number of high-risk overcapacity triggers in Calgary and Edmonton.
- In the first nine months of the 2014-15 fiscal year, more than 1,300 surgeries were cancelled – including at Stollery Children’s Hospital.
- The number of people waiting in hospital for a long-term care bed increased by over 40 percent between December 2013 and December 2014.
- Hospitals are facing over $1 billion in overdue critical maintenance projects.
Details of Our Plan:
- Rachel Notley’s NDP will start to restore trust in our health care system and ensure that our hospitals can meet the growing needs of our growing province.
- We will stabilize the health care system and stop the PCs’ cuts to health care this year. Cuts to health care will only make the PCs’ hospital crisis even worse.
- We will prevent further chaos by focusing on patients, not another scheme to re-organize AHS. We will cancel the PCs’ $9 million plan to print new business cards for executives – and we will focus on reducing wait times for surgery and in emergency departments.
- We will also end the shell game in Alberta’s hospitals by developing nearly 600,000 square feet of hospital space and putting it to use for patient care.