COVID-19 has shone light on the importance of Alberta's public medical laboratory services. To date, Alberta's labs have administered more than 175,000 COVID-19 tests — 52% more per capita than the Canadian average. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's Chief Medical Officer, has credited the province's centralized public lab, Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL), as the primary factor in our ability to test more effectively than any other province.
Despite all this, plans to further privatize our medical lab system continue. Before they even took office, the UCP announced that they would be cancelling the planned Edmonton Laboratory Hub project, which would have seen Alberta's labs brought back under the public system. The project would have been a much-needed investment to improve aging laboratory infrastructure and technology, rendering Alberta a leader in laboratory services. Instead, this plan was cancelled outright, and the government has made plans to contract out the province's lab services to private, for-profit companies, while Albertans have been left with no clear path forward for our fractured laboratory system.
In the midst of a global pandemic, it has been made more clear than ever that the Alberta government must take action to reverse the privatization of APL, and to instead invest in the improvement and expansion of our essential and life-saving public medical laboratory system.
For more background on Alberta's lab system, click here.
Sign the petition below and share to your networks to support Alberta's public laboratory services!
Petition to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, in the Legislature Assembled:
WHEREAS, the role of our public medical laboratory services as an integral and life-saving component of our health care system has been highlighted by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and
WHEREAS, Alberta's centralized and public medical laboratory services have contributed greatly to the province's success in large scale testing, and
WHEREAS, laboratory services have been, and will continue to be essential for effective diagnostic services and are a vital component of achieving timely health services;
We, the undersigned residents of Alberta, petition the Legislative Assembly of Alberta to immediately reverse the privatization of Alberta Precision Laboratories and to instead expand its duties and responsibilities for providing lab services under Alberta Health Services.