Dismantling Healthcare

EDMONTON — Alberta’s emergency doctors warn of a “potential catastrophic collapse” of emergency care for patients if immediate action isn’t taken to reduce waiting times.

“Overcrowding in our province today is worse than it has ever been,” says a letter obtained by The Journal and written by Dr. Paul Parks, Alberta Medical Association’s section president of emergency medicine. Parks used to live in Edmonton but moved to Medicine Hat, in part because of the high stress and continued strain in the city’s big emergency wards.
He issued similar warnings in March 2009, after he and a group of 25 emergency physicians at University Hospital began documenting emergency cases where patients were having heart attacks or dying while waiting for care. Others didn’t get antibiotics or pain medication in a timely manner, increasing their risk of pneumonia.

“Albertans continue to suffer and receive substandard emergency care as a direct result of a lack of capacity within the system,” Parks writes in the letter which was sent to Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky, Premier Ed Stelmach and Alberta Health Services CEO Stephen Duckett, among many other top administrators and MLAs. “Despite acknowledgment and agreement regarding the severity of the crisis, the situation continues to degrade.”

  • There’s a large backlog because 50% of emergency beds are filled with seniors awaiting transfers
  • doctors working in smaller centres struggle to transfer complicated cases to big-city hospitals
  • routinely failing to meet basic recommended times to assess and treat acutely ill patients

Dismantling of the healthcare system has been occurring for a long long time Alberta. For more specifics, check out – Join Together Alberta

A friend of mine had worked for Alberta healthcare and had the inside knowledge of the workings of Alberta healthcare. He had come from Europe because of his work with healthcare. He had thought Canada had a progressive healthcare system. He was not under such a delusion when he left.

Politicians see healthcare a large trough. Health-care spending is not accountable. Money goes into the pot and where it goes and for what projects it funds is largely left untraceable. Alberta unlike Britain had no accountability for healthcare spending (On a side note – the move to publicize MP spending fizzled – no one really wants to know where the money goes) . There is no plans to determine what the money needed to be spent for in the future. Unlike Europe, where there are studies taken to determine what the future needs of the population would be, Alberta seems to be doing it by “the seat of their pants” – a made in Alberta failure.

The Alberta conservative government seems to have a not so secret of agenda of trying to open private healthcare-(long term bed closures. Their solution to all our healthcare woes is to get people to pay for everything. Then we could have a bright shining healthcare that the United States has. This is the capitalist mentality. There is a firm belief that “The market” will take care of all our woes. However, this last little collapse of the markets prove how eminently vulnerable it is to manipulation, lies, and deceit. The market is not some benign deity that will grant us all our wishes, solve all our problems.

I do not understand is his infatuation with the markets. It is as if acting as a community a true community, meaning acting in the interests of all not just for one individual or one company seems to be dirty. The capitalist mentality means profit up of people. Our laws and regulations always seem to support the company, rather than people. Often companies seem to be more important than the people.

In the United States this confusion between capital and community is demonstrated by all the drama surrounding public healthcare. Public health care should be a requirement for all civilized societies. It is not any different than public education. We want our children educated, we want our population healthy. The health and well being of the people should not be a resource that private companies are be able to exploit. But, in the United States – the government helping people in need is demonized.

The argument is the government spends too much maintaining a public health care system. Now, this might be true however we come back to and not being able to account for where the money is spent in Alberta. There is a great deal of money being spent to maintain bureaucratic and political salaries. The amounts of money being paid to people in healthcare boards is obscene. All the while, the people that are doing the real work, doctors and nurses are having their jobs cut. Not surprisingly, funding is determined by the very people who are getting paid large sums of money.


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