EDMONTON – NDP Leader Rachel Notley called on the Auditor General today to investigate evidence that the PCs are manipulating healthcare infrastructure priorities for political gain.
“There is strong evidence to suggest this government is both understating the condition of disrepair of Alberta hospitals and, in a limited number of cases, using its power to move projects up the priority list in order to benefit to the PC party,” said Notley.
Documents obtained by the Edmonton Journal suggest that The Ministry of Infrastructure and Alberta Health Services intentionally lowered the infrastructure ratings of 18 Alberta Hospitals, in an effort to move them up the infrastructure priority list. In some cases the ratings were changed from Good all the way to Poor.
According to the Edmonton’s Journal’s analysis, of the 18 hospitals that had their Facility Condition Index altered, 14 are in ridings represented by PC MLAs. The remaining four are in ridings where a Wildrose MLA won the 2012 election by 1000 votes or less.
“The PCs have betrayed the trust of Albertans by intentionally misleading them and jeopardized their quality of healthcare by manipulating the system put in place to ensure they have access to care,” said Notley.
The Journal’s investigation also suggests that the way hospitals are rated and the way those ratings are made public was changed in an effort to understate the poor condition of healthcare facilities or hide the problem entirely.
“When you put both cases together, it’s clear there is no rationale behind these decisions, leaving Alberta’s most valuable infrastructure assets vulnerable to political manipulation,” said Notley.