HSAA members asked to solve for-profit healthcare crisis

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) President, Mike Parker, reacts to HSAA members taking extra shifts to address the laboratory service wait time crisis. 

Edmonton – HSAA lab professionals working in Alberta Precision Laboratories (APL) are taking extra shifts to help address the crisis of laboratory service wait times in Calgary.

“It is no surprise that our talented lab professionals are stepping up to help provide the crucial care Albertans need and resolve the failure in laboratory services caused by the unnecessary transition of lab services to DynaLIFE.” Said Mike Parker, President of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta. “Our members dedication to the health of Albertans and professionalism despite the chaos of this transition have kept our lab system functioning. It’s time they get the recognition they deserve and the support they need to do their work sustainably.”

Since the end of July, APL laboratory professionals have been offered additional shifts to provide extra appointments, pop-up collection clinics and processing support at hospitals in Calgary and Edmonton. This extra support is intended to help relieve the backlog of testing and lack of appointment capacity caused when community laboratory services were transitioned from APL to DynaLIFE in December 2023. This drawn-out process began with the cancellation of a publicly administered modern lab project in 2019.

“This additional support is critical to both Albertans and our members working for DynaLIFE,” said Mike Parker. “Since DynaLIFE took over community lab services, Albertans have faced unacceptable health impacts, and our members have experienced severe stress from excessive overtime due to the backlog from lack of access to laboratory services.”

The government’s decision to bring in support from our publicly administered laboratory system to correct the failures of a for-profit system will only provide short-term support. Without a sustained investment to strengthen the public system to address the gaps caused by for-profit laboratory services, the crisis will worsen as staff burnout spreads. The only lasting solution is a fully publicly funded and administered laboratory system, which the cancelled modern public lab would have provided.

“When the government announced the DynaLIFE contract, it promised vague cost savings while somehow also expanding access and improving the quality of lab services. When we raised concerns about how for-profit care would impact patients and our members, it was dismissed by the government.” continued Parker. “Delayed cancer treatments, kids getting sick while waiting on tests, and all of the anguish people are going through just to access testing could have been avoided by keeping the public system intact.”

“Even if the government’s hopes of cost savings somehow come true, no amount of money saved would be worth the pain it has caused Albertans and our members. The only thing that will give this pain meaning is if we learn that the promises of for-profit care cannot be trusted and that our public system should not be pulled apart for the sake of corporate profits.”

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Media Inquiries:

Myles Curry, Manager, Campaigns and Education

587-991-9445 | MylesC@hsaa.ca