One year after a provincial budget that saw a 17% (1.3 billion dollar) increase to Alberta’s Ministry of Health and Wellness, Friends of Medicare is calling for a review of whether those monies have been spent in the most efficient and effective manner.
“This government has focused on the politics of healthcare rather than improving health outcomes”, said David Eggen, Executive Director for Friends of Medicare. “Public money is hard to come by, so we must ensure it is spent in the most efficient way possible.”
Friends of Medicare’s is concerned that this government’s increasing its reliance on private contracts to deliver public health services in this province. Private contracts can result in increased costs, less transparent in their spending, and can result in less reliable and secure delivery of essential services.
“We are spending millions on private contracts there is no transparent mechanism to demonstrate whether we are getting the best bang for our public dollar,” says Eggen. “Why throw good money after bad, like we saw with the private Health Resource Center in Calgary”?
Friends of Medicare is calling for a comprehensive systems audit of private health contracts for public money to determine if these arrangements are the most efficient use of public resources. “Building capacity in our health system should mean more front line workers, not more private contracts and high paid administrators,” says Eggen.