Cracks showing in health care, says Swann

The “cracks” in Alberta’s health-care system will gape open this winter as the flu season — including the H1N1 virus — begins, says Alberta Liberal leader David Swann.

Dr. David Swan addresses a seniors health forum at the Golden Circle

The “cracks” in Alberta’s health-care system will gape open this winter as the flu season — including the H1N1 virus — begins, says Alberta Liberal leader David Swann.

“We’ll be seeing in the next few months, especially with winter and flus and the kind of extra demands that come on the system, we’ll be seeing the cracks much more severely.

“And I think we’ll be hearing more from people who are being seriously affected,” said Swann before leading a seniors’ town hall meeting on health care at the Golden Circle Monday night that attracted about 60 people.

He said health care has been in “crisis mode” ever since government’s third “re-disorganization” of the system in the last 15 years.

Administration is confused and frustrated. On the front line, workers are stressed, demoralized, unable to do their job as they believe they should, face gag orders and now a proposed wage freeze.

Swann said it’s bizarre having a health-care system in place that is only focused on cutting costs, and has actually increased costs by transitioning to a new system.

After hosting 10 similar meetings around the province, Swann said there’s already a lot of public anger and frustration because of the wait times to get care.

“We’re going to get more complications, more preventable deaths, more poor outcomes,” said Swann, a former family physician and public health consultant.

Liberals are hosting the town hall meetings to find out the public’s concerns and their ideas to solve what ails the health care system.

Some of the problems identified by the Red Deer crowd were the delisting of chiropractic care, the elimination of local hospital boards, government’s lack of transparency in its plans for health care, not making use of nurse health-care practitioners, and the privatization of long term care and assisted living.

Roseanne Martyniuk, of Red Deer, said her parents, who are in a private assisted living facility, are “nickeled, and dimed to death.”

“I believe by the time I get there, I won’t be able to afford it,” Martyniuk said.

Swann said the question of seniors care and how much should be publicly funded and how much should be privately funded has simply not been asked by government.

“That’s a discussion that we haven’t had in this province.”

Swann said it’s time to get back to basics by providing seniors with the long term care they deserve, proper home care service so they can stay in the community, enough family doctors to serve the public and more emphasis on prevention programs.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Officials tour Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange

Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman and local MLAs visit construction site

Bike thefts becoming ‘significant problem’ in Red Deer

Residents are sounding the alarm on the growing problem of bike theft… Continue reading

Red Deer approves 10 cannabis retail stores

Locations approved around the city

One trillion litres of sewage leaked into lakes and rivers over last five years

OTTAWA — Last Wednesday, a team of people from the Lake Ontario… Continue reading

Woman bitten at Red Deer dog park

Dog owners reminded to control their pets

WATCH: A horse was neglected by its owner. Now the horse is suing

ESTACADA, Ore. - Justice is an 8-year-old American quarter horse who used… Continue reading

Red Sox old-timer’s memorabilia going up for sale

BIDDEFORD, Maine — Some items belonging to one of the Boston Red… Continue reading

Rival Korea leaders to meet in Pyongyang in September

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The rival Koreas announced Monday that North… Continue reading

Charlottesville anniversary: Peaceful protests, few arrests

WASHINGTON — Thousands of people wanting to send a message that racism… Continue reading

‘I believe music heals people’: 12-year-old records tribute for shooting victims

YARMOUTH, N.S. — Twelve-year-old Josh Cochrane of Yarmouth, N.S., watched the news… Continue reading

Fallen officers’ families gather with Justin Trudeau after tragedy

The prime minister laid flowers at the growing memorial to the four victims of Friday’s violence

Fallen officers’ families gather with prime minister after tragedy

FREDERICTON — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with families of fallen Fredericton… Continue reading

Liberals showcase benefits of billions spent on infrastructure projects

OTTAWA — Little more than a year before the next federal election,… Continue reading

Fredericton parade ‘a way to celebrate even in the midst of this grief’: mayor

FREDERICTON — Two days after four people were gunned down in a… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month