Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie made a speech in a recent Members Statement saying some changes need to be made to Alberta Health Services (AHS). 

“Mr. Speaker, prior to COVID, many boasted about Canada having one of the greatest health care systems in the world. But when stress testing capacity declines and wait time increases, the system failed to adapt and meet expectations.” 

Guthrie says dedicated frontline staff did their best working in a stressful environment, dealing with countless managers and supervisors in a bureaucracy resistant to change. 

“Our government put forward a number of great initiatives in this budget; 2.2 billion to build health facilities, 100 million to expand hospital capacity and ICU beds, 64 million towards EMS, and 23 million to Alberta's 911 system to name a few.” 

But Guthrie feels like more has to be done than just supplying them with money. 

“Canada ranks second as the priciest universal health care system in the world, but among the bottom in performance, with Alberta being the most expensive in the country, and considering the failures at AHS over the last two years, it is clear higher levels of spending do not translate to better results.” 

Budget 2022 calls for the addition of 850 new full-time positions at AHS but Guthrie questions, under the same ineffective management, is this money well spent. 

“AHS staff dissatisfaction is another factor. Without meaningful interaction with the frontline to create a positive work environment, fundamental change will be difficult.” 

Guthrie called AHS bloated and an underperforming entity that requires reform to ensure its future success. 

“Professional consultation, restructuring management and meaningful implementation of publicly funded privately delivered services will help. One does not leave a struggling system to continue struggling. It's imperative that we have trust in our public institutions, trust in government and trust in leadership to do the right thing to satisfy trust and generate confidence change becomes a necessity.” 

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