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NEWS: Calgary chapter hosts public forum on health care

StraightGoods.ca reports that the Calgary chapter of the Council of Canadians recently hosted a public forum on health care featuring Parkland Institute research director Diana Gibson, as well as Alberta NDP leader Brian Mason and emcee Ted Woynillowicz.

Representatives from the Liberals and Conservatives were also invited, but declined.

Gibson spoke on “the latest proposal for a new Alberta Health Act. Putting People First released on September 16 by Alberta MLA Fred Horne, (that) offers 15 recommendations for developing a new Act.” Raising numerous concerns with the government’s proposal, Gibson said, “The answer is to develop community hubs with doctors on salary, nurse practitioners, pharmacists on salary, social workers, all working as a team. Research shows it’s a great model, and if done publicly it’s the most cost-effective model there is.”

Mason stated that. “Last fall, (the Alberta NDP) held seven hearings around province and produced a report called What People Want. People want quality health care, to be treated well, in a nice place where they could get well. They want it to be affordable. They pay for it with their taxes and don’t want to pay again… The problem with emergency rooms is that beds are occupied by people who need long term care, which backs up the whole health care system. We believe long term care is a critical piece we need to solve in order to repair health care in this province.”

Mason also highlighted, “Alberta spends $13 billion/year on health care. Canada spends $130 billion annually. Private health care companies look at that budget and drool, and keep putting pressure on governments to open up that market.”

The full article by Penney Kome can be read at http://www.straightgoods.ca/2010/ViewArticle.cfm?Ref=802&Cookies=yes.