Posted on Jul 14, 2020
BILL 30 LAYS GROUNDWORK TO ‘OPEN THE FLOODGATES’ TO PROFIT-CENTRED, AMERICAN-STYLE HEALTHCARE
EDMONTON - Further analysis and consultation by the NDP Opposition confirms that Bill 30, the UCP’s so-called Health Statutes Amendment Act, will set the stage for profit-centered, American-style healthcare.
Specifically, the legislation currently before the House:
- Allows for-profit corporations to contract for insured health services, even at demonstrable detriment to the public health system, and at the expense of Albertans.
- Allows billing for health services directly between Government and for-profit corporations.
- Loosens restrictions and Ministerial oversight on agreements to provide surgical services, allowing for proliferation of private, for-profit companies and facilities.
- Includes yet another power grab by the Minister of Health when it comes to establishing alternative billing arrangements, allowing him to go around the Alberta Medical Association
“This is about Premier Jason Kenney methodically setting the stage to open the floodgates to profit-centered, American-style healthcare,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley. “He’s going to do this slowly so as not to stir panic, but Albertans need to be aware that this Premier’s so-called vision for healthcare is that his wealthy friends and insiders get first access to healthcare.
Dr. Lorian Hardcastle, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law and Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, said the Government has branded Bill 30 as being about reducing wait times and increasing efficiency, but has provided no proof that either of those things will occur.
“There is evidence in other jurisdictions to the contrary, that suggest this won’t work and will actually increase wait times for people who can’t pay out of pocket,” Hardcastle said. “These reforms in Bill 30 raise concerns with equity, quality of care, and the corporatization of healthcare. This is a stepping stone to a fully two-tier system where health care is accessed on the ability to pay rather than need.”
NDP Health Critic David Shepherd said he suspects the UCP’s fight with doctors is part of a deliberate strategy to discredit them and drive them out of Alberta to clear the path for American-style healthcare.
“The doctors I talk to are proud of our public healthcare system,” Shepherd said. “They will openly defend any attack on it by this Government. The Premier views that as a threat so he’s trying to make it unbearable for them to continue to practice here. Those that endure his constant attacks are being subjected to a full-fledged smear campaign by this Government.
“Doctors and patients in Alberta should know they have the full support of our Opposition Caucus and we will continue to fight for all of their interests.”