Friday, May 15, 2009

More Surprises for Alberta Health Care?

It should NOT be a surprise. It should just bewilder you. I ask - WHY did the province cut premiums? Think of it this way, if 2 million Albertans were paying $44 a month for their health care premiums, that would be putting $88 MILLION dollars into our system every single month. Heck, if only 1 million Albertans were actually paying up, that would still be 44 million a MONTH to use. But instead, we find leaked documents talking of the closure of more and more services. We should be SCREAMING about this!!!!!!!!!

Medicine Hat News article Friday May 15 2009

""A leaked Alberta Health Services document recommending downgrades and closures of a number of health facilities in the former David Thompson health region put rural centres in southern Alberta on edge Thursday.""

""The Medical Staff Newsletter, dated March 31, 2009, outlined a proposal for 10 central Alberta hospitals be downgraded to “urgent care centres” and another five health facilities to be closed.""

""Hanna’s mayor, Mary Collins, learned through the media that her hospital is listed as one of the facilities recommended to be downgraded....That news follows a visit last week from an AHS representative who announced use of their dialysis machine would be discontinued May 25. Patients have been told they will have to travel an hour to and from Drumheller.""...""“All we know is it’s going and they are going to send our patients via taxi from Hanna to Drumheller if they have no one to drive them.”""

""Hospitals in Rimbey, Ponoka, Lacombe, Innisfail, Castor, Coronation, Consort, Sundre and Three Hills were also recommended to become urgent care centres. Health centres in Trochu and Castor were marked for closure. Long-term care centres in Bentley, Trochu and Breton were marked for closure.""

""The FOM also claims it has reason to believe AHS will be announcing significant budget cuts in July.""
It should be noted that AHS has not approved these measures, but it has not said they won't approve any of them either. Why are we just sitting here saying nothing? Would $44-88 MILLION dollars a month in premiums have helped save these centers? I want to know why it was cut, and then followed by severe cuts to health care services. So far my questions have gone unanswered but perhaps if more people join in and phone, email, mail their concerns and outrage, things will change. It's worth a shot, don't you think? I live in a city but I grew up in Rural areas and can only imagine what it will be like for them. The premiums should not have been cut if Alberta was not in good standing for supporting it's current health care services.

But you know why they did it? So we can't complain. How can you complain about something if you get it for free anyway? I truly believe that is why they did this and it is very upsetting. This should not be happening in the so-called Conservative province of Alberta.


  1. Stelmach is a lousy premier. He is full of gimmicks and has no plan.

  2. Cutting the premiums means that big business does not have to pay the employees benefits any more, saving big $$$$ for Big Companies

  3. This is an old post - but yes it did mean a reduction in what companies who covered their employees AHC paid - however many also used Alberta Blue Cross Group coverage and the cost for that has gone up exponentially since the regular premium was removed. so in the end, they ended up paying far more. It was a max of $88 a month per employee for AHCI but the premium for ABC doubled and then doubled again shortly after that. Many companies pay 50-100% for their employees extended coverage and were blind sided by these increases. They would have saved more if the province had not cut the AHCI premium and then upped ABC to help pay the difference :)



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