HSAA President calls on Minister of Health to abandon plans to privatize health care

“The Minister is a hypocrite,” says Mike Parker

Edmonton — “It is inconceivable to Albertans why Jason Kenney’s health minister would want to sell off the public lab that has made a ‘remarkable achievement,’” says Mike Parker, President of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA), the union that represents 27,000 health-care professionals across the province, including 6,000 lab workers.

Yesterday, the Health Minister again praised Alberta’s public lab professionals and the success of the public lab system at the very same time he is selling it off.

“The Minister is such a hypocrite,” says HSAA President, Mike Parker. “He’s praising public health workers while continuing with the plan to tear apart the system like Kenney tears up signed pledges. The Minister is calling the million-people-tested milestone a ‘remarkable achievement’ saying ‘every test is the result of a lot of hard work.’ He needs to explain to those same professionals why he is going ahead with the Kenney plan to privatize labs in Alberta.

“I am, once again, calling on the Minister and Kenney to cancel all requests for proposals, and stop privatizing labs using Albertans’ money to pay for it. Every public dollar in health care should go to patient care, not sent out of the province for profits.”

HSAA members are the thousands of lab professionals responsible for implementing and executing an increase in testing capacity from 300 tests a day to an average of 13,000. The Minister boasts his government “increased work capacity.” That did not mean hiring more front-line people, it meant HSAA members working harder in their commitment to provide excellent health care for Albertans. Alberta Precision Labs Board Chair, Mauro Chies said, “It is their hard work by stepping up with overtime, extra shifts, being flexible, willing to do things differently that has made a huge difference in this battle against the virus.”

Parker adds, “The Minister is right when he says our members are the ones who have ‘worked around the clock to keep Albertans safe from COVID.’ They have been and always will be there for Albertans. The only thing standing in their way is the Minister and his leader.

“Health matters to all of us. We won’t let them tear it apart. Let’s make it better.”

HSAA is 27,000 health-care professionals dedicated to protecting the public health system and the vulnerable Albertans who rely on it.

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Media Inquiries:
Kirk Heuser, HSAA Communications Officer
780-690-8199 | kirkh@hsaa.ca