We pride ourselves on our compassionate, public, universal health care system. Universal health care means important services like child birth and heart surgery are provided for all of us regardless of our ability to pay. In Canada, patient needs come first.
But some parts of our health care system are still privatized, from dental care to prescription drugs to a lot of Alberta’s seniors care.
Since the change in government, the Alberta NDP have reversed privatization that was planned for Edmonton laboratory services and hospital laundry services for Medicine Hat.
But seniors care privatization continues with millions of public dollars subsidizing private and for-profit long-term care centres. While the Alberta NDP promised to create 2,000 new public long-term care beds, only 345 have been announced.
The government has also allowed exclusive and expensive private clinics to continue to charge thousands of dollars in membership fees for health services.
The UCP supports not only public subsidies for private care, but opening up our health care system to American style two-tier health care. This would drastically impact front line workers, while also impacting AUPE members who have to bargain for health benefits as well as those who do not have benefits.
AUPE believes that changes and improvements to health care should be part of our compassionate, public, universal system. And new services like prescription drug coverage should fall under the medicare umbrella.
Regardless of who gets elected, Alberta's government must commit to preserving and improving public health care, and stop relying on private and for-profit providers.