Wary of new health act

Friends of Medicare say Albertans should be suspicious of why the province wants a new Alberta Health Act.

Friends of Medicare say Albertans should be suspicious of why the province wants a new Alberta Health Act.

In April, Alberta Health and Wellness announced public consultation to update the province’s health legislation. In Red Deer, consultation will be held July 15, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., at the Capri Centre, 3310-50th Ave.

David Eggen, executive director of Friends of Medicare, said the province has not provided an explicit framework of intent for the legislation that will provide the structure for Alberta’s entire health system.

“Government just has a bad track record on health care so we are justifiably suspicious. The potential for nefarious activity is huge,” said Eggen who was in Red Deer earlier this week to gather input on what people want in the legislation, as well as health issues in the region that need attention.

He said the province complains current legislation is obsolete, complicated and restrictive. But law, by it’s very nature, is supposed to provide regulations and it’s historical because it evolves over time.

Friends of Medicare is encouraging Albertans to get involved by attending local consultations or completing the online survey. Alberta Health and Wellness says anyone can attend the consultations. Registration is preferred, but not necessary.

Eggen said Albertans will not put up any with threats to public health care.

“If (the province) wants to fight, we’re there to fight them. It wouldn’t be isolated skirmishes. It will happen in every single town in this province. They better be really careful,” said Eggen after about 45 people came out to Friends of Medicare meeting at the Golden Circle.

Friends of Medicare will compile its public input into a report in August.

The government’s health advisory committee will submit a detailed plan to Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky by Sept. 30 to move the Alberta Health Act foward.

For more information on the consultations go to www.health.alberta.ca/initiatives/your-health-act.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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