Lab Report Confirms Lack of Evidence to Support Privatization

Lab Report Confirms Lack of Evidence to Support Privatization

Friends of Medicare are encouraged by today's release of the Health Quality Council of Alberta
report confirming a lack of evidence was gathered to support the privatization of Edmonton and Northern Alberta lab services.

"The previously proposed privatization of Lab Services in the Edmonton zone and northern Alberta is another example where evidence to support private over public delivery was not considered," said Executive Director Sandra Azocar. "Our members and health advocates across Alberta should be proud of the work they have done so far raising their voice in opposition to the previous governments attempt to further privatize lab services."

Friends of Medicare, its members, partner organizations, and concerned Albertans have raised concerns about the lab privatization since it was first announced in 2013. The report from the HQCA makes clear that a business case for public delivery was never properly examined.

Friends of Medicare and allies were thankful to see the move to privatize halted last year. While the Government of Alberta is accepting recommendations to strike a committee to examine options for the future of lab services delivery, they have not made clear commitments to full public delivery of services.

"We know that our work is not done. We are pleased with the Minister of Health's decision to strike a Steering Committee and consult with stakeholders, but we are also convinced that once the evidence is gathered,  it will show that public delivery of lab services is the best path to take," continued Azocar. "We also want to see today's decision set a trend with other privatized elements of our health care system like long-term care and home care. The public deserves to see the evidence, to know the real costs and risks of privatization so that we can make the right choice which will be to provide services under the public umbrella."