The province has appointed a new Health and Mental Health Advocate.
Catherine Douglas, who was appointed for a three-year term, has been with the Office of the Alberta Health Advocate for more than six years and has been the interim Health and Mental Health Advocate since July 2022.
She started her new role Feb. 15 and will make recommendations to the health minister to improve patient care and Alberta’s health system.
Health Minister Jason Copping said he was confident Douglas will be an excellent voice and fair advocate for patients struggling to navigate the health system.
“I welcome Catherine to her new role and know she will do everything she can to help support Albertans and their families receive the best health services possible, and provide a patient perspective to inform system-wide improvements,” said Copping in a statement.
Her role includes investigating complaints, guiding people through the appropriate complaints resolution processes, and helping protect the rights of Albertans receiving in-patient care under the Mental Health Act or subject to a community treatment order for mental health issues.
The advocate’s office will also play a larger role in navigating issues in the health system identified by seniors and their families, in collaboration and partnership with the Ministry of Seniors, Community and Social Services.
“Providing access to good health care is a primary responsibility of Alberta’s government. Alberta’s Health and Mental Health Advocate plays an important role especially as a voice for seniors, ensuring they are able to access the supports and care they need,” said Seniors, Community and Social Services Minister Jeremy Nixon.