Dear Minister Copping,
On behalf of the more than 28,000 members of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) we want to congratulate you on being named Alberta’s next Health Minister. To step up and take on this role at this moment speaks to your courage and commitment to public service.
HSAA members are skilled and dedicated professionals who ensure positive health outcomes for our patients. We are the respiratory therapists, lab workers, paramedics, mental health professionals and thousands more working in 240 disciplines in our communities, hospitals, clinics, ORs, ICUs and ERs.
Together, we can change the course of this pandemic and learn from it to make our public health system more resilient for Albertans today and in the future. HSAA stands ready to meet with you at your earliest convenience to add insight to several issues currently impacting our ability to be of service to Albertans.
Chief amongst our concerns are:
- The ongoing privatization of health care: HSAA represents dedicated professionals working for both public and private health care providers. This gives us a unique and invaluable perspective into the health outcomes and operational impacts that can be expected in both systems. We need to find a way forward that ensures every Alberta has access to comprehensive care that is affordable and efficient.
- The pandemic: We can work together to ensure measures are in place that protect Albertans and all workers caring for them. In particular, the mental health of our members has become an area of real concern due to the ongoing nature of COVID-19 and the lack of resources. Front-line workers are unable to access appropriate breaks from their duties, which have been at a crisis level for an extended period.
- The EMS resource crisis: Everyday in Alberta, entire communities are being left with no paramedic to respond when someone gets sick or injured and requires emergency care. This is an issue that has been ongoing for more than a decade and remains unaddressed by various governments of differing political stripes. This must not be a political issue and we are willing to work with anyone in power to take advantage of the opportunities that exist to fix this problem.
We are requesting the opportunity to personally bring to your attention some of the major issues that HSAA members, and all Albertans, are facing.
We wish you all the best in your new role. Albertans are counting on you.
It is our sincere hope we will have an opportunity very soon to sit down and discuss the challenges currently needing to be overcome to protect the public health system upon which Albertans are relying.
Mike Parker & Leanne Alfaro,
HSAA President & Vice-President