MLAs will conduct health consultations
Plans to have Conservative MLAs tour Alberta this summer as part of health-care consultations may be a useful addition to consultations already being undertaken in the region by various other groups and organizations, says Gerald Ingeveld, a Sundre-area member of the region’s health advisory council (HAC).
“I guess it never hurts to have them come out and have a look what’s going on here,” said Ingeveld. “We’ve been doing a lot of consultations here already, with doctors in Sundre and Olds now putting their finishing touches on the primary care network.
“We’ve been really concentrating on public consultations for a couple of years. The advisory council and community engagement through Alberta Health Services, and with the doctors working on the PCN. We are moving forward whether they (MLAs) are coming out or not, but it never hurts for them to come out here.”
Premier Alison Redford said last week that Tory MLAs will be travelling around the province to “discuss how the government’s promise to improve access to publicly funded health care can work for individual communities.”
“It’s time to change the conversation from what the health system needs, to what people need, and Albertans tell us they need access,” said Redford. “We need to ensure that all Albertans have a home in the health-care system where people know them and their health needs, can help them manage their health, and can help them get more specialized care if it’s needed.”
The MLAs are expected to talk with local health-care providers and community residents during the tours.
“They will explore how every Albertan might have access to a health-care team tailored to local health needs and resources. For example, the team could provide access to services from nurses or nurse practitioners, mental health workers, dieticians and pharmacists in addition to doctors,” she said.
Fred Horne, Minister of Health, added: “We need to match the right approach with people’s health needs, close to where they live, taking full advantage of the resources that exist and supplementing those as required.”
MLAs will report their findings to Minister Horne, who will share them with a committee of health-care stakeholders, said Redford.
Health advisory councils gather public input into the state of health care in Alberta and make recommendations to AHS.
In other health news, see this week’s Mountain View Gazette story on the new primary care network in the region.