New Health Minister Carries Heavy Baggage

Friends of Medicare would like to acknowledge Fred Horne’s appointment as Alberta’s Minister of Health this morning. “While we wish him the best, Mr. Horne carries a lot of baggage from his involvement with private health initiatives,” said David Eggen, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.

Albertans know Mr. Horne as project manager for the Alberta Health Act, an aggressive attempt to lay the groundwork for more private health care in this province. Public pressure forced the government to back off on some of the more sweeping changes in this legislation, but the sentiment remains to promote more private contracts for public services, particularly in the area of senior’s care.
“Both Mr. Horne and Ms. Redford have stubbornly clung to this notion that more private health contracts would be good for the province”, said Eggen. “Evidence and common sense tells us that private health care costs more and does not deliver better health outcomes.”
“The appointment of Mr. Horne calls into question whether Ms. Redford will break away from this government’s long flirtation with private health care,” says Eggen. “Through his actions in the coming weeks and months, we hope Mr. Horne might be able to convince Albertans otherwise.”