NDP leader Rachel Notley is asking for increased investment in health care during the upcoming budget.
Notley made the request ahead of the 2021 provincial budget release, which is expected Thursday.
The former premier and leader of the official opposition said that in order to keep Albertans safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, more needs to be done to support health care across the province. She is calling for $3 billion in surge funding.
“Alberta’s health-care heroes have been working flat-out to keep us all safe over the past year,” Notley said. “Premier Jason Kenney and the UCP must provide them with the resources they need to keep up the fight, and to start helping the Albertans who were forced to wait for their care while our hospitals filled up with hundreds of COVID patients.”
The NDP is calling for a similar commitment to the $1 billion the legislature authorized in 2020, as well as another $1 billion in both 2021 and 2022 to address backlogs in surgeries, diagnostic imaging, and mental health support.
Notley and the NDP are also asking the UCP to shelve massive layoffs, wage rollbacks and service cuts that were a part of the Ernst and Young Review of Alberta Health Services.
“Above all, Albertans need a stable health care system during this pandemic. The provincial government will also need to work collaboratively with health-care professionals to catch up on growing backlogs. This has to start from a place of respect, and that means dropping Tyler Shandro’s plans for chaos and conflict,” Notley said.