On July 6, 2020, the government of Alberta introduced Bill 30, the Health Statutes Amendment Act. The Bill, according to the government, was designed to ensure that the government can meet its healthcare commitments to strengthen public health care so all Albertans have access to high quality, sustainable, person-centred health services. The Bill cuts approval times for private surgical facilities, allows the ministry to contract directly with doctors and allows private companies to take over the administrative function of physician clinics.
The Bill has been criticised by doctors heavily as they were not consulted before the Bill was enacted into law. Many doctors fear that Bill 30 is the start of American style privatization of the health care system. The concern is that privatisation will compromise the health care of patients. The relationship between Alberta doctors and the UCP government has dominated the news since this government was elected. It has not been a great relationship, to say the least. The doctors have conceded to a 5% per cut, saying their opposition to Bill 30 is not about money but the government not listening.
The government insist that doctors in the province are overpaid. The Health Minister Tyler Shandro, in response to the ongoing dispute with the doctors, created a sunshine list for Alberta doctors detailing how much they are paid. According to the Edmonton Journal, Mr Shepherd, NDP Health Critic said he worries the government is not creating the list in an effort to be more transparent but instead to gather ammunition to fight with doctors.
Mr Shepherd joined us to talk about the toxicity of Bill 30 and the harm that it has done to health care in Alberta. You will love his passion and articulation. His thoughts on Black Lives Matter is worth watching in this interview.
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