Friends of Medicare's statement on Premier-elect Jason Kenney's election win

APRIL 17, 2019

Friends of Medicare’s statement on Premier-elect Jason Kenney’s election win

Friends of Medicare congratulates Jason Kenney on becoming Alberta’s Premier-elect. We would also like to congratulate and thank all those who took an active role in our democracy by letting their names stand for election. Our province is made better by this exercise.

As the election dust settles and government gets back to governing, Friends of Medicare wants to remind our government-elect that timely access to quality public health care continues to be of the utmost importance to all Albertans. Albertans know that they are better off with a public health care system that ensures everyone equal treatment without worry about whether they can afford the care they need. Those who seek to dismantle our publicly funded and delivered system face an uphill battle to convince Albertans otherwise.

“Albertans are proud that we have led the way in developing a public health model that is universally recognized as socially responsible,” states Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “We need to build on this foundation to improve and expand our public health care system to make it better for all Albertans, based on need and not the ability to pay.”

As a province we are shaped by world events and struggles, by ups and downs in the economy, by opposing ideologies. We will be watching with interest to see what policies and changes Alberta’s new government will be making over the next four years. As a civil society organization, Friends of Medicare are tasked with influencing social change – we act for the common good. Simply put, what guides our advocacy for stronger public health care is a firm belief in the values that served to shape our Medicare system in the first place: equity and fairness.

We will continue to work to impact the development of policy and the implementation of new strategies that will be guided by best practices rather than limited by budgets. Without circumvention, we will be looking for transparency and social accountability for action or inaction within our health care system. In the coming months, we will be looking for public discussions and real disclosure of how our public health dollars are being spent. For Albertans, what matters is doing away with the culture of secrecy and corporatization in our health care system. The corporate sector's need to increase profits always comes at the cost of patient needs and safety.

As we enter into a new chapter of Alberta politics, we are not advocating for the status quo. Rather, Friends of Medicare are calling for fundamental cultural change in health care, and provincial policy that reflects the values of public health care, embraces clear provincial standards to improve access to care, and establishes effective ways of assessing quality care. “We, alongside proponents of fair and equal public health care from all across this province, will be actively urging this new government to produce real public solutions to an essential public service,” said Azocar.