Posted on Jul 15, 2020


EDMONTON - The NDP Opposition is backing Alberta doctors as they launch full-page newspaper advertisements to correct a long record of UCP lies designed to discredit their profession and clear a path to American-style, profit-centred health care.

Today’s ads call on Health Minister Tyler Shandro to return to the bargaining table after he tore up the province’s previous deal with the Alberta Medical Association. The ads also state that doctors put forward meaningful proposals to control costs in February, March and July, even while Premier Jason Kenney and Shandro were smearing numerous doctors in public and Shandro went so far as to berate one doctor outside his home in front of his wife and children.

The AMA newspaper ads state, “Minister, there is a way forward. Let’s not waste any more time. The healthcare system desperately needs the stability that only working together can bring. This is what patients deserve.”

NDP Health Critic David Shepherd said doctors were left with no choice but to escalate their concerns.

“For months, doctors have attempted to negotiate in good faith and they have faced nothing but hostility from Jason Kenney and the UCP,” Shepherd said. “The Premier is using taxpayer dollars to run ad campaigns that aim to insult and disparage doctors — during a global pandemic no less.

“Now, we face a situation where 42 per cent of doctors are considering leaving the province altogether.

“This is all part of a deliberate, methodical plot by this Premier to destroy the patient-centred, public health care that Alberta doctors support and replace it with an American-style, profit-centred system that only the UCP government and their wealthy friends support.”

On Monday, the UCP voted against holding an emergency debate in the Alberta Legislature to address the potential of a mass doctor exodus from the province. On Tuesday, the Premier resorted to insults when questioned about his plans to bring in an American-style healthcare model.

“This government knows it’s offside with Albertans who support public healthcare,” Shepherd said. “Our frontline healthcare workers have been heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic and they deserve respect. Albertans, meanwhile, need the peace of mind to know they won’t be subjected to a credit check before getting the care they need.”