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Province announces next step to revamped health care system


9 minute read

Setting the foundation for a refocused health system

Proposed legislation would support the refocusing of Alberta’s health care system to ensure Albertans get the care they need when and where they need it.

On Nov. 8, 2023, Alberta’s government announced plans for a refocused health care system to ensure patients are receiving the care they need, when and where they need it. To achieve this, Alberta’s government will be creating four new organizations, one for each priority health services sector: acute care, primary care, continuing care and mental health and addiction.

If passed, the Health Statutes Amendment Act would enable the government to take the necessary next steps to refocus the province’s health care system. The legislation would ensure Albertans have a system that works for them by prioritizing their need to find a primary care provider, receive urgent care without long waits, have access to the best continuing care options and obtain excellent mental health and addiction treatment.

“We are taking another step toward improving health care by updating legislation and enabling the governance and oversight required to refocus the health system. The critical improvements to transparency and accountability will help support the successful refocusing of the health care system to one that is responsive, effective and reflects the needs and priorities of Albertans today and for future generations.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health

The Health Statutes Amendment Act will enable the transition from one regional health authority, Alberta Health Services, to an integrated system of four sector-based provincial health agencies including primary care, acute care, continuing care and mental health and addiction. The agencies will be responsible for delivering integrated health services, ensuring Albertans receive timely access to care, regardless of where they live.

The Health Statutes Amendment Act establishes roles for an oversight minister and sector minister. The Minister of Health will take on the role of oversight minister, responsible for setting the strategic direction of the overall health system. A sector minister will be responsible for a specific health services sector. For example, the sector minister for Recovery Alberta is the Minister of Mental Health and Addiction. On the recommendation of the oversight minister, additional health service sectors may be established and designate a minister responsible for that newly created sector.

Enhanced government oversight will help Alberta’s government to better direct resources to the front lines where they are needed the most, improve patient care overall and support health care professionals.

“Mental health and addiction have been growing issues within our society and need to be prioritized within our health care system. Amid an addiction crisis, a refocused health system will allow for mental health and addiction services to get the attention, oversight and focus they need. Recovery Alberta would allow for improved mental health and addiction care across the province as an important part of an integrated health system.”

Dan Williams, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction

“Refocusing Alberta’s healthcare system is a crucial step towards ensuring that we can deliver a framework that prioritizes accessibility, accountability, and patient-centered care. By streamlining operations, improving oversight and fostering collaboration, we are setting a strong foundation for a healthcare system that is better equipped to address the diverse needs of each of our communities.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services

The legislation will enable the minister of health to transfer employees or classes of employees from AHS to the new sector-based organizations, once established. During the transition period, AHS will be enabled to continue operating as a regional health authority. Employee transfers will be seamless, maintaining existing bargaining relationships and collective agreements. This will ensure stability for the workforce, unions and government as the health system refocus is implemented. There will be no job losses for staff who transition into the new organizations.

Amendments to be made to existing legislation

The Health Statutes Amendment Act includes amendments to the Regional Health Authorities Act and the Health Information Act, which have not been updated since the 1990s.

As part of these amendments, the name of the Regional Health Authorities Act will change to the Provincial Health Agencies Act. The amended Provincial Health Agencies Act will remove outdated references to allow the transition from a single regional health authority to a unified, sector-specific provincial health system. This will clarify the scope and accountabilities of provincial health agencies and health service providers going forward.

The amendments will also place responsibility on the provincial health agencies for operational planning and oversight of clinical service delivery across the province. This will enable provincial health agencies to set priorities in the provision of health service delivery. The agencies will also be tasked with sharing information and collaborating closely to support seamless patient care as the transition to the refocused health care system takes place.

Alberta’s government is committed to ensuring that patient information continues to remain safe and secure through this transition. Amendments to the Health Information Act will be introduced to support the new health system refocus and to support the establishment of the Canadian Centre of Recovery Excellence. These amendments will allow the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction, the four new provincial health agencies, the Health Quality Council of Alberta and Canadian Centre of Recovery Excellence to have the authority to use health information for health system purposes.

If passed, the Health Statutes Amendment Act will enable Recovery Alberta, the mental health and addiction provincial health agency, to begin operating in the summer of 2024. The primary care, acute care and continuing care provincial health agencies are expected to be established in the fall.

Quick facts

  • Consequential amendments are changes made to existing legislation due to new legislation being passed. These amendments are necessary to ensure legislative alignment with the proposed amendments to the Regional Health Authorities Act.
    • To support the Regional Health Authorities Act amendments and ensure alignment, 43 other acts are being consequentially amended – for example, to replace references to “regional health authority” with “provincial health agency” where necessary.
  • AHS will remain a key provider of health services, and in fall 2024 will transition to focusing on the provision of acute care services.
  • Alberta’s government introduced the Canadian Centre of Recovery Excellence Act which, if passed, will establish the Canadian Centre of Recovery Excellence (CoRE) as a public agency that would support the Government of Alberta, including Mental Health and Addiction, and Recovery Alberta in advancing the Alberta Recovery Model.

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Alberta politician hosts sold-out conference on COVID jab harms with Drs. Trozzi, Bridle

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Calgary-Lougheed MLA Eric Bouchard                                                                                                  Alberta Politics / YouTube

From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

The ‘Injection of Truth’ event organized by MLA Eric Bouchard included well-known speakers critical of COVID mandates, including Dr. Byram Bridle, Dr. William Makis, canceled doctor Mark Trozzi and pediatric neurologist Eric Payne.

An event hosted by a newly elected member of Alberta’s legislative assembly, which featured prominent doctors and experts speaking out against COVID vaccines and mandates, sold out in Calgary this week

Dubbed “An Injection of Truth,” the event took place on June 18 in Calgary and was hosted by the Calgary-Lougheed Constituency Association of the United Conservative Party president Darrell Komick and MLA Eric Bouchard. 

The event was geared around the question, “What’s scientifically different today than 2020? And why are an excess number of Alberta’s children dying?”  

“Many doctors and medical experts are saying that the COVID mRNA shots that began use in 2021 in Alberta are unsafe and ineffective for children. An Injection of Truth Town Hall is hosting world-class experts to present the medical and scientific case for stopping COVID mRNA injections in children,” the event’s website noted.  

The “Injection of Truth” event included well-known speakers critical of COVID mandates and the shots, including Dr. Byram BridleDr. William Makis, canceled doctor Mark Trozzi and pediatric neurologist Eric Payne. 

Bridle, who has been reported on by LifeSiteNews extensively, is an Ontario virologist, vaccinologist, immunologist, and associate professor of viral immunology in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph. He is critical of the COVID shots and said at the event that all his concerns regarding the COVID shots have been “repeatedly proven correct by scientific data.”  

“COVID is less dangerous than the flu for children,” he said.  

He noted how research shows “multi-dosing with lipid nanoparticles” that the mRNA jabs use “is dangerous,” explaining how years ago this was the reason the use of lipid nanoparticles was “abandoned” by Big Pharma except for a “few” who “clung onto it.” 

“It was supposed to be a one-and-done technology, not 10 doses,” he said.  

Payne noted that when it comes to public health officials, it seems “they’re trying to pretend they never said these things” because the “lies are coming down from the very top.”  

Payne observed that he knows of not one healthy child who died from COVID, even though the government messaging was that kids as young as six months old should get the shot.  

He noted that when it comes to the COVID shots, they are not even “vaccines.” 

“To call these things vaccines, it’s just not the truth,” he said, referring to them as an experimental drug based on mRNA technology. 

Payne and four other Alberta doctors launched a lawsuit against Alberta Health Services’ (AHS) mandatory workplace COVID jab policy in October 2021. 

Trozzi, who was stripped of his medical license by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario for speaking out against the COVID shots and was a guest speaker at the LifeSiteNews 2023 general meeting, observed that the COVID crisis would have been over sooner if everyone just lived their normal lives. 

He said all that was needed was for the vulnerable to be isolated and that it was important kids were exposed to the virus to build immunity. He observed how mortality rates for kids were already on the rise before the COVID shots came out due to isolation causing damage to their immune systems. 

The COVID shots were heavily promoted by the federal government as well as all provincial governments in Canada, with the Alberta government under former Premier Jason Kenney being no exception. 

The mRNA shots themselves have been linked to a multitude of negative and often severe side effects in children. 

As for AHS, it still is promoting the COVID shots for babies as young as six months old, as recently reported by LifeSiteNews.   

The full event has now been posted to YouTube and is available for all to watch freely.  

Conversation about COVID jabs ‘should have happened four years ago,’ says politician   

MLA Eric Bouchard spoke with LifeSiteNews about the “Injection of Truth” event, saying that open discussion about the COVID injections is a conversation that “should have happened” four years ago.

He noted that the speakers invited to the event all “presented their own data, factual peer-reviewed data,” and that “they were all canceled” in some way for simply asking questions. 

Bouchard said that his event had the full support of his local constituency board. 

“They voted 22-1 to championing the Town Hall,” he said, which was attended by UPC president Rod Smith.  

Bouchard noted that he did have pushback from the “mainstream media” over the event, but the decision to host the conference never wavered.

Bouchard said that despite being invited to the event as well as a press conference, members of the mainstream media failed to show up, which he says shows how one-sided they were and still are in relation to asking hard questions about COVID jabs and mandates. 

Bouchard became a first-time UCP MLA in 2023 after an election that saw UCP leader Danielle Smith elected as premier of the province on a pro-freedom and pro-business platform. Smith’s election followed the resignation of Premier Jason Kenney, who suffered low approval ratings after implementing a number of COVID-related mandates, including lockdowns.

Ironically, Bouchard is now the MLA representing the same riding Kenney represented until stepping down as party leader. Bouchard is a former restaurant owner who was forced to close in part because of the Kenney-mandated COVID lockdowns.

Bouchard, as reported by LifeSiteNews earlier this year, has praised the anti-mandate Freedom Convoy protesters for standing up for what “was right.”

Under Kenney, thousands of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare and government workers lost their jobs for choosing to not get the jabs, leading Smith to say – only minutes after being sworn in – that over the past year the “unvaccinated” were the “most discriminated against” group of people in her lifetime.  

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Alberta parents want balance—not bias—in the classroom

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From the Fraser Institute

By Tegan Hill and Paige MacPherson

74 per cent of parents in Alberta believe teachers should present both sides of controversial issues (e.g. sexuality/gender, climate change) or avoid them entirely.

With the Alberta government set to test its new draft social studies curriculum in September, a new poll reveals a clear consensus: Alberta parents of K-12 children want schools to provide balance—not bias—in the classroom. And when it comes to controversial material in schools, they want to make their own choices for their children.

Specifically, the poll (conducted by Leger and commissioned by the Fraser Institute) found that 88 per cent of Alberta parents (with kids in public and independent schools) believe teachers and the provincial curriculum should focus on facts—not teacher interpretations of those facts, which may include opinions. Only 10 per cent of Alberta parents disagreed.

Moreover, despite ongoing debates in the media and among activists about K-12 school policies, curriculum development, controversial issues in the classroom and parental involvement, according to the poll, the vast majority of parents agree on how schools should handle these issues.

For example, 74 per cent of parents in Alberta believe teachers should present both sides of controversial issues (e.g. sexuality/gender, climate change) or avoid them entirely.

An overwhelming majority of Alberta parents (86 per cent) believe schools should provide advance notice when controversial topics will be discussed in class or during formal school activities. This isn’t surprising—many parents may want to discuss these issues with their children in advance.

In fact, when controversial topics arise, about three quarters (73 per cent) of Alberta parents believe parents should have the right to remove their children from those lessons without consequence to their children’s grades. Of the minority who do not believe parents should have this right, most said “children need to learn about all topics/viewpoints, regardless of their parents’ bias.”

And almost nine in 10 Alberta parents (89 per cent) believe classroom materials and conversations about potentially controversial topics should always be age appropriate.

These polling results should help inform provincial and school-level policies around parental information, consent, school curricula and teacher curriculum guides. For instance, given that parents overwhelmingly favour facts in classrooms, curriculum guides should require the teaching of specific details (e.g. the key players, dates and context of specific historical events). Currently, teachers are allowed to interpret events based on their opinions, which means students may hear completely different interpretations depending on the particular teacher.

While the preferences of parents with kids in K-12 schools are often presented as contentious in media and politics, polling data shows a clear consensus. Parents overwhelmingly value balance, not bias. They want their kids taught age-appropriate facts rather than opinions. And they expect prior notice before anything controversial happens in their kids’ schools. According to most parents in Alberta, none of these opinions are controversial.

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