Albertans Will be Watching for Public Health Care Solutions at UCP Leadership Candidates' Debate Tonight

Albertans Will be Watching for Public Health Care Solutions at UCP Leadership Candidates' Debate Tonight

The first official UCP leadership debate is this evening in Medicine Hat, topics include Leadership and Unity, Health care, and the Economy and the Environment.

Under Jason Kenney, the UCP government’s record has been one of anti-evidence and ideological decision-making, with short-sighted decisions that fail to consider the downstream health costs or impacts on the health care system. They have consistently prioritized an agenda of privatization ahead of improving patient care, whether it’s surgeries, community labs, EMS, ophthalmology, seniors care, home care, or schemes to send surgeons and their patients out of province

Over recent weeks, Albertans have become increasingly vocal with their concerns about Emergency Room wait times, EMS red alerts, the struggle to find a family doctor, and the many temporary bed and facility closures across the province this summer. Yet, most of the seven UCP leadership campaigns have had little to say when it comes to a plan to rebuild the vital public health care system on which all Albertans rely.

“To date, the UCP leadership race has been sparse on specific platforms or commitments on health care. But the little we have heard is concerning,” said Gallaway. “Of the front runners, we have seen Danielle Smith spread blatant misinformation about cancer and COVID-19, while Travis Toews is pushing even more privatization, with schemes to send surgeries to private facilities in other provinces and to the United States rather than working to expand capacity in the public system here in Alberta.”

Friends of Medicare will be listening tonight for a credible plan to deal with the widespread short-staffing, worker burnout, and closures impacting our public health care system. We will also be listening for public solutions to the drug poisoning crisis, the ongoing pandemic, and commitments to put an end to the costly privatization schemes that continue to undermine our public system.

“During both this leadership race, and in the upcoming election, Albertans deserve candidates who will put the public interest before those of private, for-profit industry,” continued Gallaway. “Albertans have demonstrated over and over again that we deeply value our public health care. We need to know that those vying to lead our province are committed to ensuring publicly funded, publicly delivered health care for all.”

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