EDMONTON – The NDP released leaked documents and photos today that show that a decision to downgrade safety practices in Alberta hospitals was based on cost, without consideration of what the impact would be on patient and employee safety.
The leaked AHS PowerPoint presentation outlines the PC’s decision to reclassify dialysis waste as general waste rather than bio-medical waste. The slides focus on short-sighted cost savings as a primary driver in the decision.
“We know that government cut backs have led to cancelled surgeries and crumbling infrastructure. Now we see reckless cost-cutting as a primary factor in a decision that could have a serious impact on patient and employee safety,” said David Eggen, NDP candidate for Edmonton-Calder. “Is this what we’ve come to in Alberta? Bargain Bin Medicine?”
Equipment used for dialysis, including blood-filled tubes and containers, were formerly classified as biomedical waste.
“This bargain bin medicine is the lowest possible safety standard. Front line workers are doing the best they can but they have no choice but to be getting rid of human bio-medical waste in “robust” garbage bags,” said Eggen.
“If this is what our health care system is dealing with now, imagine what it will be like after Jim Prentice’s billion dollar cuts are implemented. It’s ludicrous that the PCs can find money for luxury golf courses but when it comes to patient’s safety, they’re out of money.”