EDMONTON, AB: With new documents obtained by Wildrose indicating current private lab providers provide higher amounts of services at lower costs, Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Drew Barnes is calling on the NDP government to show the full cost-benefit analysis of scrapping private lab delivery in the province.
The data, obtained through freedom of information (FOIP), shows that 25.2 per cent of procedures are done by private lab providers while costing only 22.6 per cent of the total laboratory services operating expense budget. In contrast, payments for all public delivery took up 77.4 per cent of costs while providing only 74.8 per cent of procedures.
The FOIP documents do not reveal what extent of procedures go into the breakdown of procedures and payments.
Barnes said Health Minister Sarah Hoffman should provide those full numbers to explain to Albertans how the NDP government’s decision was made.
“Private lab services have been serving Edmonton and Northern Alberta well for many years,” Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Drew Barnes said. “I would hate to see the NDP government doing away with these services based solely on ideology, not cost savings and efficiency of delivery. So far, the NDP’s plan for this file has been heavy on rhetoric and light on substantive details.”
Wildrose is asking the Health Minister to release the full business case for the proposed model to buy back Dynalife for $50 million in 2022, including a comparative analysis of all alternatives. The Minister must also make a case for whether Dynalife is currently more efficient than Calgary Lab Services and AHS.
“The Minister needs to release what data she is using to make such a large decision,” Barnes said. “While the FOIP we have may only paint one part of the picture, it is incumbent of the Minister to ensure taxpayer dollars and efficiency are top priorities for lab services in this province.”