EDMONTON — Today, the majority of Alberta’s community medical laboratory services are being transitioned from being publicly delivered by Alberta Precision Laboratories, to being delivered by DynaLIFE, a for-profit company. This follows the delayed attempt to transition services this past July. Friends of Medicare has been outspoken about the significant issues involved in contracting out our lab services, and other integral parts of our public health care system, every step of the way.
“This was always about providing a sweetheart deal for DynaLIFE to make a profit off of our highest volume labs, which is why the government has failed to provide any evidence that this fragmented approach will save money or ensure better community lab services,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “They purposely neglected our medical labs to the point of disrepair, and then offered privatization as the only solution. This was their plan all along and has nothing to do with benefiting the people of this province.”
Albertans have seen time and again, that short-sighted privatization experiments with our health care leave the public in the dark about contract conditions, compromising transparency and accountability, and limiting our ability to be flexible and responsive in a crisis. Far too often, these contracts also come at the expense of working conditions for those in the system.
“Working conditions are care conditions. Yet, at a time when we are struggling to recruit and retain the trained health care professionals that are urgently needed to staff our public health care system, many of Alberta’s lab workers are about to lose their access to their pension plan,” said Gallaway. “Health care policy decisions must be made based on what’s best for patients and front-line workers, not what’s most lucrative for private, for-profit providers and their shareholders.”
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