Alberta’s United Conservative Get together chief Danielle Smith renewed the social gathering’s public well being assure at a celebration occasion Tuesday morning, however it’s unclear what’s new on this promise.
The promise was first made by former UCP leader Jason Kenney in 2019, promising elevated spending on public well being and sustaining a universally accessible well being system in Alberta.
Smith stated Tuesday the UCP is dedicated to making sure Albertans have entry to public well being care. Nonetheless, she didn’t make clear what, if something, differs from the promise made by her predecessor.
She stated no Albertan would ever need to pay out of pocket below a United Conservative authorities.
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“Below this public well being care assure, the UCP is dedicated to all Albertans that by no means will any Albertan ever need to pay out of pocket to entry their household physician or get the medical remedy they want,” stated Smith.
“Which means a UCP authorities below my management is not going to delist any medical companies or prescriptions now lined by Alberta medical insurance. No exceptions.”
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The general public well being assure wouldn’t embrace dental and pharmaceutical care, one thing advocated on the federal stage.
The federal Liberals promised to enact common dental and pharmaceutical care once they struck a confidence-and-supply cope with the federal NDP final 12 months in change for assist on key confidence votes.
Smith stated the province is on the lookout for methods to broaden protection below the Alberta Well being Care Insurance coverage Plan (AHCIP).
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“The general public well being care assure makes certain that every one the companies which are presently lined stay lined … We’re taking a look at methods wherein we are able to broaden the protection to be extra complete,” she stated.
The renewed well being care assure comes after the opposition NDP accused the UCP of destroying Alberta’s public well being care system.
The NDP has lengthy criticized the UCP’s numerous public well being insurance policies, together with a proposed three per cent wage rebate for nurses and reducing 1000’s of Alberta Well being Providers jobs to avoid wasting $600 million yearly.
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The NDP additionally accused the Alberta authorities of failing to assist frontline well being care staff and attempting to switch the province’s public system with a personal one.
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Alberta well being critic David Shepherd stated Smith was attempting to rewrite the social gathering’s report on well being care insurance policies forward of the election.
In line with Shepherd, 1000’s of nurses weren’t stuffed in December and January.
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“The UCP has as soon as once more made the ridiculous declare that our healthcare system has been fastened, that they’ve ended the disaster in care,” he stated.
“It’s definitely surprising for Danielle Smith to decide on to carry again one of the vital notorious and rightly and extensively derided damaged guarantees of the Kenney period, an period marked by fixed assaults on well being care staff and cuts that minimize Albertans’ entry to have undermined care.
“They’ve attacked, they’ve undermined they usually have repeatedly tried to cover the reality of the truth of the harm they’ve precipitated and the disaster we proceed to face.”
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