HSAA tells Premier and Minister system in crisis needs action now

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) President, Mike Parker talks about his meeting this morning with the Premier and Health Minister and their steps to deliver health care reform. 

EDMONTON — “Health care is in crisis and we need to be providing direct support to health-care professionals so Albertans can access public health care when they need it.”

This was Mike Parker’s message to the Premier and Health Minister this morning. The meeting was an opportunity for the UCP to explain what it will be doing to deliver health care reform at a time when our children’s hospitals are over capacity and Albertans aren’t getting the care they need where and when they need it.

“It was encouraging to hear the Premier and the Minister state their intention to address issues we have been raising for the last three and a half years,” continued Parker. “Premier Smith echoed our stance that Alberta needs to be doing more to retain the people we have and to increase the numbers of health professionals we are training and recruiting.”

But, HSAA has concerns about how the work to support health-care professionals will be overshadowed by UCP causing organizational chaos and pursuing failed privatization schemes.

“Don’t forget, a few months ago, this government was trying to impose double-digit wage rollbacks on our members,” added Parker. “They are currently transitioning thousands of lab professionals to a private employer, putting their pensions at risk. They are doing harm right now by ignoring science and creating doubt about the effectiveness of masks and vaccines.”

HSAA professionals are the experts in the delivery of health care. We are encouraging the government to immediately take four steps.

  1. Offer casual employees full-time positions.
  2. Solve chronic short staffing.
  3. Ensure health care is publicly funded and delivered.
  4. Restart and expand cancelled mental health and social programs, including safe consumption.

“Alberta Health Services needs to become a preferred employer,” concluded Parker. “We are competing for health professionals with other provinces that are offering wage increases and actively recruiting our members.”

“The Premier says we have entered the ‘action phase’ of reforming health care. That means overcoming staffing shortages and improving working conditions so we can care for Albertans.”

HSAA is the union of 30,000 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