Health Policy

HEALTH POLICY

TAKE STEPS TO INCREASE MEDICAL PERSONNEL ACROSS ALBERTA INDLUDING NURSES, NURSE PRACTITIONERS, PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS, AND DOCTORS

  • Increase the use of Nurse Practitioners throughout Alberta, but in particular as a way to revitalize rural health care and rural hospitals.
  • Significantly increase funding for the long terms training of nurses in Alberta, to maximize the use of our training facilities and capacity.
  • Work with CRNA to further expedite the recognition of foreign trained nurses and if necessary, increase funding for the training upgrades necessary to credential foreign trained nurses in rural colleges.
  • Work with the UNA to set up a system of retention bonuses for our experienced nurses.
  • Work with the UNA to set up a system of signing bonuses for nurses who return to the profession under an alternative collective agreement framework that is designed to reward nurses on a salary basis and prevent nursing overtime burnout.
  • Reinstate all nurses who left nursing in Alberta from 2021 forwards due to vaccine mandates.
  • Work with Alberta’s Universities to find a long-term plan that leads to having two medical school graduating classes a year in Edmonton and Calgary.
  • Work with the CPSA to expedite the licensing process for foreign trained doctors including putting in place a system where foreign credentialed doctors can more quickly qualify to work as Physician Assistants while working towards having their full credentials recognized.
  • Work with the AMA to create systems and structures that incentivize MDs to collaborate and increase the use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants in primary care medicine. Work with the CPSA and the CRNA to remove barriers to the greater use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
  • Work with Alberta Universities to find a long-term plan that leads to having some years of medical school training in Alberta happening away from Edmonton and Calgary.
  • Work with the CPSA and the AMA to set up a system that supports qualified retired physicians rejoining the workforce. 

SOLVE THE CRISES IN EMS AND EMERGENCY SERVICES 

  • Allow communities with integrated EMS capacity and experience to remove themselves from AHS' centralized dispatch service if they wish to.
  • Change the patient handover rules to allow for full- time staffing at major hospitals of EMS supervisory level staff who can accept the EMS handoff of EMS patients to allow ambulances and EMS staff to get back out on the road. Allow those supervisory EMS staff input into admission triage decisions.
  • Change admission rules in emergency units so that never again is a patient told to go out to the parking lot and call an ambulance.

AHS OVERHAUL TO RETURN INNOVATION AND IMPROVEMENT INTO THE SYSTEM.

  • Work with the Board of AHS to implement the recommendations of the 2017 Auditor General's report on fixing the system.
  • Demand that the AHS board change management practices to encourage experimentation and innovation in administrative processes. One-size-fits-all in how health units are managed is not working. Different regional medical officers need more autonomy. Regional hospitals need the capability to become specialized centres of excellence.
  • Dramatically improve the unitarization of health assets, specialized equipment, and health infrastructure around Alberta. Require all health care assets such as Diagnostic Imaging, Operating Rooms, etc. be optimized to ensure they are available more hours every day to provide services to Albertans.
  • Money follows the patient to secure medical procedures that are beyond acceptable wait times. A patient who needs to seek out-of-province care or in-province private care to receive a designated medical service within appropriate clinical timelines will be entitled to compensation consistent with the expense that AHS would have paid for their appropriate care. 

INCREASE THE AUTONOMY OF HEALTH PROFESSIONALS.

  • Make changes to the Public Health Act to explicitly clarify that every Albertan has complete rights to personal medical autonomy and bodily autonomy and cannot be made to submit to a medical intervention. 
  • Reaffirm in the Health Professions Act the principle of patient autonomy. An informed patient can refuse treatment, can request safe treatment even if off-label, can even, under law, request medical assistance in dying. A health professional has, and should have, conscience rights to refuse to help a patient in any of these circumstances. But, likewise, a health professional should not be punished for respecting the informed personal medical autonomy of an individual patient and acting on their safe and ethical requests.
  • Establish that regulatory actions taken by self-regulators must have a clear relationship to protecting the public from harm.
  • Make changes to professional regulatory investigation mechanisms to allow a professional in a policy dispute with his regulator to require the regulator to prepare and publish a “white paper” establishing the laws and scientific studies behind their argument so that a professional has the right to confront and challenge the scientific or policy position the regulator is relying on.
  • Change professional regulatory rules to allow a professional to recover reasonable legal costs from the regulator if they win their matter on a policy dispute.