Posted on Jul 16, 2020


EDMONTON - Alberta’s NDP Opposition will urge a legislative committee to invite frontline healthcare workers to come forward and provide their input on how to improve public health in Alberta.

A motion that will be proposed to the Select Special Public Health Act Review Committee during a meeting Friday will allow both government and opposition members to invite frontline doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff to speak during deliberations on updating the legislation.

“Let’s be clear, the people working in our hospitals are heroes — that’s never been more true than now, during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said NDP Health Critic David Shepherd. “These workers are on the frontline and have firsthand knowledge of how the high-level decisions made under the Public Health Act have supported or failed them when doing their important work.”

Forty-two per cent of Alberta’s doctors are considering leaving the province due to the attack on their profession by Jason Kenney and the UCP. As well, the government has brought forward legislation to set the stage for a move to profit-centred, American-style healthcare where those with the deepest pockets get first access to the care they need.

The committee’s structure has been criticized for its lack of transparency, it allows a UCP-dominated subcommittee to do much of the work on the Public Health Act in private. The motion being proposed Friday will call for public discussion with healthcare heroes.

“Healthcare workers are being ignored and that’s not right,” Shepherd said. “They must be consulted on the future of our public healthcare system. If UCP members vote against our proposal they’re showing that they don’t care about these heroes.”