New Health Advocate Must Address Systemic Issues

Friends of Medicare would like to extend a welcome to Mary A. Marshall who was appointed to a 6 month term as the Interim Health Advocate.

"We are hopeful that Ms. Marshall will be provided the budgetary resources needed to successfully undertake the incalculable duties, responsibilities, and expectations that will be placed on this office once it is fully functioning," indicated Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.

The Health Advocate will be reporting directly to the Minister of Health, and as such he will be directing what the office deals with. "Given that the Health Advocate is not an independent office, we will continue to highlight the need for transparency and insist that all reports that are generated by this office are made public," stated Azocar.

Ms. Marshall will be guiding the finalization of regulations, refining the roles and responsibilities of the Health Advocate, and establishing the office to include the Seniors Advocate and the Mental Health Advocate. In doing so, it is Friends of Medicare's hope that she will look at how the government can impact real change in the systemic issues facing  Alberta's health care system.

"The problems in our health care system do not need window-dressing; they need real solutions," said Azocar.