Friday, April 18, 2008

Alberta unveils health 'action plan'

From the Calgary Herald:
Health Minister Ron Liepert unveiled an "action plan" for reforming the provincial medical system Wednesday morning, but he suggested the sizeable shortage of doctors in Alberta is far from being the only problem facing health care.

Liepert outlined proposals government will consider during a nine-month overhaul of the $13-billion health system, ranging from a new governance model for the province's health regions to monitoring infection control standards.

The plan also moves to address shortages of nurses and doctors, a problem that is so acute in Calgary that an estimated 200,000 people don't have a regular family physician. But Liepert also expressed doubt about the "so-called shortage of doctors."

"Let's not just jump to the conclusion that we have to run out there and hire 1,500 doctors. There are other ways of addressing this problem," Liepert said at the legislature, referring to plans to add physician assistants and give pharmacists more power to manage chronic diseases. ...more

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