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January 28, 2023 January 28, 2023

MLA Hunter excited by new AHS reforms

Posted on December 28, 2022 by Taber Times

By Cole Parkinson
Taber Times
cparkinson@tabertimes.com

The provincial government has  had the chance to work with Alberta Health Services reforms and Taber-Warner MLA Grant Hunter is excited about what that will bring. 

“I think that and affordability are the two biggest things I hear at my office from constituents,” explained Hunter. “The AHS file, we’ve got some exciting things happening there. Dr. (John) Cowell is now the administrator, so the board has been disbanded. I think they will go back to the board and I think that’s where they are going to try to be, but the ability for the board to move quickly and nimbly, just because of the construct of the board, it just can’t move quickly and nimbly.” 

The province is especially looking at four main areas of concern in regard to reforms — improving EMS response times, decreasing emergency room wait times, reducing the wait times for surgeries, and developing long-term reforms through the consolation with frontline workers. And with a move to a single administrator, for the time being, Hunter hopes that will lead to some new ways forward.

“The premier has chosen to move forward with an administrator and Dr. Cowell has actually has had past successes in this way. I’m quite excited about seeing what we can do. We cannot continue to allow and have our ER times where they are. You can’t be waiting six to eight hours in ER for help. We have to fix that,” he said. “We have to fix the EMS system — you have to make sure you have the ability to get an ambulance when you need it. Those are two big issues that they are trying to work on. The other issue is the waitlist for operations. It’s unacceptable having a $24 billion budget for healthcare and waiting up to 18 months for a hip replacement.” 

Hunter also gave an example of southern Albertans who have chosen to go down south to get surgeries done. 

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