Posted on Oct 13, 2020


EDMONTON - Jason Kenney’s Health Minister Tyler Shandro revealed plans today to destroy 11,000 jobs at AHS, spread confusion and chaos across the province’s hospitals, and impose new out-of-pocket costs onto Alberta patients and families.

“Jason Kenney’s plans are completely irresponsible. Frankly, these plans are stupid,” said Rachel Notley, Leader of the NDP Official Opposition. “These plans will cause harm to patients, harm to communities - particularly rural ones - and they will harm our chances for an economic recovery.”

The AHS Performance Review Proposed Implementation Plan, finalized in mid-August and released publicly today, calls for the “reconfiguring” rural emergency departments; contracting out of housekeeping, food services, and laundry services; and new charges and co-pays for seniors in long-term care.

“Jason Kenney believes the Albertans who are cleaning rooms, washing bedding and preparing food in our hospitals during a pandemic are expendable to pay for his $4.7-billion corporate handout,” Notley said. “Let’s be clear: these Albertans are frontline workers. They are heroes and they deserve better treatment from their government.

"We have seen the failings of for-profit care in private continuing care facilities during this pandemic, and now Jason Kenney wants to bring these failures into our hospitals.”

“I’m deeply concerned to see that the UCP is pressing forward with plans to, quote “reconfigure,” rural emergency departments,” said David Shepherd, NDP Health Critic. “This is code for reduced hours, reduced levels of care, and outright closure. This is a whole new layer of chaos for rural health while Jason Kenney continues his war on Alberta doctors.”

The AHS plan also details new co-pay costs for home care, increased accommodation charges for long-term care and supportive living, and new cost for medication for Albertans in long-term care. These moves follow Kenney’s decision earlier in the year to throw 60,000 Albertans off of the seniors’ drug plan.

“This isn’t about saving money,” Notley said. “This isn’t about efficiency. This is about destabilizing public healthcare and creating a path for the UCP’s extremist agenda to introduce the American-style healthcare that Jason Kenney and Tyler Shandro are so determined to bring to Alberta. It’s profoundly irresponsible and it’s a fundamental breach of faith with the people they were elected to serve.”