Posted on May 19, 2020


EDMONTON -- A family physician in Fort McMurray has announced she will be leaving the hard-hit Alberta city, and relocating out of Alberta altogether, due to the healthcare crisis created by Premier Jason Kenney and his health minister Tyler Shandro.

“It is with significant consideration and a heavy heart that I announce the closure of my medical practice as of July 30, 2020,” Dr. Melanie Young wrote in a letter to patients. “The instability surrounding both the direction of primary care delivery and physician remuneration in Alberta, has forced me to assess and adapt my practice and regrettably, I will be relocating out of province.

“My family and I have loved the life we have built in Fort McMurray and will leave here inspired by the generous, loving, resilient and hardworking people of this community. I wish you all good health and endless prosperity.”

Dr. Young’s announcement follows doctors in Stettler, Sundre, Rocky Mountain House, Canmore, Three Hills, Bragg Creek, Drayton Valley, Cold Lake, Lacombe and Pincher Creek either closing their practice or resigning from their local hospital after Shandro tore up their contract in February. Shandro’s attempts to slow the crisis he created have failed to change these doctors’ plans.

“Jason Kenney and Tyler Shandro have created a crisis in healthcare, and they are harming families in rural and urban Alberta,” said David Shepherd, NDP Opposition Critic for Health. “I’m especially saddened to see families lose their doctor in Fort McMurray, which has endured so much adversity over the past years. It is particularly cruel for this government to be driving healthcare professionals like Dr. Young out of a community that is facing so many other challenges.

“Tany Yao and Laila Goodridge should stop being spectators while their government tears down the healthcare system that cares for their constituents. I call on them to join us in advancing our simple three-point plan. Restore the province’s previous contract with doctors on a temporary basis, enter third-party arbitration to develop a new contract, and repeal the parts of Bill 21 that allow the government to tear up any future contract,” Shepherd said.

“This isn’t about money, it’s about trust. Jason Kenney must remove Tyler Shandro as health minister.”