JAN 11, 2018
UCP Health Policies Would Move Alberta Backwards to the 1990s
Modern Health Care Solutions are Needed
Friends of Medicare are calling for a rejection of proposed UCP policies reported by the Calgary Herald yesterday that would see health care services privatized and budgets slashed.
“These UCP policies would move Alberta backwards to the 1990s. Alberta has much work to do to improve and modernize our healthcare system,” said Executive Director Sandra Azocar. “While steps are being taken to reduce the role of profit-driven care and medicine, Alberta’s system is still heavily privatized. These UCP policies show no commitment to bending the privatization curve, and instead support user-pay private care.”
A leaked UCP document says that the Government of Alberta should “allow for privately-funded, privately delivered health care services.”
“At the same time we are concerned about revenue policy proposals that would give wealthy Albertans tax breaks while cutting out over a billion dollars in revenue. Combined with their proposals to balance the budget by 2023 with no new revenues, this would result in eliminating over $11 billion in provincial spending,” added Azocar. “That’s over half of our current budget for health care. These proposals don’t say what or where the UCP should be cutting spending, and should be rejected.”
UCP proposed policies would cut taxes on upper income Albertans, and cut taxes on business profits, while allowing publicly funded subsidies to private health care providers.
“Albertans deserve quality public and universal health care, not disproven privatization experiments and 1990s style budget slashing,” continued Azocar. “These proposals would drain the public system of funds, and allow profit-driven medicine to take needed staff resources away from public delivery. We know that people value a universal system where patient need comes first. Friends of Medicare will continue to oppose the idea that those with money can pay to put the rest of us to the back of the line.”
“At the same time we continue to support a modernization of Alberta and Canada’s medicare system to cover needed services like prescription medication, seniors care, dental care, and mental health delivered by not-for-profit public administration,” said Azocar.