January 24, 2022
Privatization is not the solution to Alberta’s EMS crisis
Today’s announcement reduces the EMS safety net while lining up more public health care dollars for private pockets
Emergency Medical Services in Alberta have been in crisis for months. Yet while health care workers, unions, community groups and Albertans have all been raising the alarm bells, the government has let the crisis continue to grow without a plan, until Alberta’s EMS services have reached a breaking point. Today's announcement by the government introducing their "10-point plan" was a far cry from the urgent action that is needed to repair the worsening capacity crisis facing Alberta's EMS.
“The crisis in EMS has been obvious for months. First, Jason Kenney and the UCP denied it was even happening, now they’ve convened yet another panel with no targets, no timeline, and no accountability to the public,” said Chris Gallaway, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. “This 10-point plan and new panel cannot be allowed to contribute to the creeping privatization of our EMS services."
The UCP government’s record has shown over and over that they cannot be trusted with our public health care system. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, they have allowed our health care workers and services to be perpetually overburdened, and have responded with an aggressive agenda of privatization in our hospital laundry, our medical laboratories and elsewhere.
“We cannot allow the UCP government to use this current crisis in EMS as another excuse to justify their agenda of privatized health care services,” said Gallaway. “Every dollar of public health care money should be going into bolstering the public EMS system and protecting the health and safety of patients and health care workers, not used to line the pockets of private, for-profit contractors.”
“Albertans deserve timely, responsive EMS services that are available to anyone in the province when and where they need them. The government should be giving AHS the mandate and support they need to make that happen, and to do so through our public system,” concluded Gallaway.
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