Final mandate letters and healthcare updates
Ministerial mandate letters
The theme of the last batch of ministerial mandate letters released by Premier Smith was “better outcomes for Albertans,” with a focus on healthcare. Information on other mandate letters was featured in the November 16 issue of The Weekly.
Here are the highlights:
- Take immediate tangible steps to have AHS improve EMS response times, decrease surgical backlogs and cut emergency room wait times.
- Work with municipalities, medical doctors and allied health providers to identify strategies to attract and retain health care workers to rural Alberta.
Mental Health and Addictions: Ensure that recovery and increasing the recovery capital of Albertans is the primary policy for the ministry and allied authorities.
Alberta Municipalities' board of directors met with Alberta’s Chief Paramedic Darren Sandbeck and other representatives of Alberta Health Services on November 24 to seek an update on the 10-point plan to add capacity to EMS that was rolled out in early 2022. While AHS is making strides to recruit more paramedics and do a better job of triaging calls, improvements to EMS service provisions are being outstripped by demand. Alberta Municipalities’ board of directors flagged the ongoing challenges members are experiencing with the Medical First Response program. It also flagged the gaps in response times data which hamper an accurate evaluation of whether the changes AHS is making are affecting the ground delivery of EMS services.
The Government of Alberta is conducting an independent review of its province-wide EMS dispatch system. This review will provide further opportunities to identify and address ongoing pressures and improve effectiveness and efficiency.
Alberta Municipalities continues to await the release of the provincial emergency medical services advisory committee’s final report. In October 2022, the Minister of Health announced that the committee’s final report had been received and that the provincial government “is taking the necessary time to study the final report’s recommendations and develop the next steps.”
Access to healthcare continues to be priority for ABmunis. Check future issues of The Weekly for updates on these and other advocacy efforts and related initiatives.