EDMONTON, AB – Five years after releasing “Alberta’s Five-Year Health Action Plan,” the PC government has not only failed to meet any of its performance targets to improve health care, but is noticeably worse in meeting any of their promises to reduce wait times, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
Becoming the Best promised in 2010 to make Alberta’s health care system, “the best-performing, publicly funded health system in Canada.” The end-date for performance targets for its five key strategies outlined in the report is March 2015.
Surgery wait times from 2010 to 2015
|Procedure:||Wait Time in 2010||Target for 2015||Wait Time in 2015|
|Hip Replacement||35 weeks||14 weeks||38 weeks|
|Knee Replacement||49 weeks||14 weeks||49 weeks|
|Cataract Surgery||41 weeks||13 weeks||35 weeks|
|Shoulder Surgery||14 weeks||42 weeks|
|Back Surgery||14 weeks||37 weeks|
|Stomach Surgery||14 weeks||47 weeks|
(% Admitted w/in 8 hours)
42% – Children’s Hospital
38% – Foothills
31% – Peter Lougheed
24% – Rockyview
37% – South Health Campus
11% – Grey Nuns
25% – Misericordia
41% – Royal Alexandra
29% – Stollery Children’s
36% – University of Alberta
“While we spend the most per-capita across Canada, hospitals are jam packed, seniors are stuck waiting for long-term care beds and we are only getting worse in meeting wait times for treatment in emergency rooms and for key surgeries,” Wildrose Leader Heather Forsyth said. “The Wildrose has long warned about the lack of improvement for wait times, and now we are beginning to see a clear picture of how damaging years of PC mismanagement has become on our health care system.”
The five-year action plan made a guarantee that all Albertans could see a specialist within one month of referral. According to a Nov. 2014 report released by the Fraser Institute, Albertans wait for over three months on average to see a specialist after receiving a referral from their family doctor. For some specialties like neurosurgery, wait times are substantially longer. The department of neurosciences at the University of Calgary is currently turning referrals away because they have 1803 people waitlisted.
Forsyth said a Wildrose government would work to reverse the years of declining outcomes spurred on by PC mismanagement.
“We need new leadership focused on ensuring Albertans won’t languish in queues in pain and in danger. The Wildrose has long proposed a patient wait-time guarantee to ensure that those waiting for surgery can actually get it,” Forsyth said. “AHS says they’re focused on creating new benchmarks, which is absurd. The problem has never been with the benchmarks. The problem has always been with this government’s ability to meet them. When it comes to fixing health care, new promises from this government just can’t be trusted.”