Friends of Medicare responds to Rural Health Services Review report

Today the Alberta Government released its Rural Health Services Review report. It highlighted and validated a number of concerns that rural Albertans have been sharing for a long time.

"This report clearly shows that closing down health care services in rural communities and centralizing them in the big cities is not working," said Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. "All Albertans deserve reasonable access to basic health care services."

While the government has pledge to cut its overall budget by 9%, a number of the 56 recommendations made in the report would require new funding.

"If the government is serious about implementing the report's recommendations, it needs to put its money where its mouth is," continued Azocar. "Otherwise, this report will be added to the stack of past reports collecting dust in the Health Minister's office."

The report underlined the creation of 8 - 10 operational districts that are to be implemented by July 1st, 2015.  Each of these districts will have its own operational and maintenance budgets and be responsible for staff recruitment. 

"Will adding this new governance layer to AHS make a tangible difference in the quality of health care for Albertans, or will it be another meaningless chapter for an organization already suffering from restructuring fatigue?" asked Azocar.