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For-Profit Outsourcing Does Not Reduce Wait Times in Health Care
L’externalisation à but lucratif ne réduit pas les temps d’attente dans les soins de santé


May 23, 2023

For-Profit outsourcing didn’t reduce Alberta wait times

During debate in the Legislature, France Gélinas, MPP for Nickel Belt, encouraged the Ford Conservatives to read Failing to Deliver: The Alberta Surgical Initiative and Declining Surgical Capacity. Released this month, the research report examines the Alberta’s significant expansion of for-profit, corporate health care started in 2020 and the effects on access and wait times.
“I encourage all of you to read the Parkland Institute report that just came out from Andrew Longhurst, who looked at Bill 30—Bill 30 is basically the equivalent of Bill 60 but in Alberta. What did they find when they did an analysis? Researchers found that the privatization: increased public sector staffing shortages and destabilized public hospitals, led to unlawful extra billing and two-tier health care. There was also a higher cost of for-profit surgical delivery even though the patients accessing for-profit surgery were healthier and wealthier that an average patient. The research found evidence of conflict of interest in medical decision-making, where surgeries were offered and performed while there were patient safety and care quality concerns. All of this because, for-profit-held delivery maximizes profits by maintaining as low a staffing level as possible per patient” stated Gélinas.

“The findings in Alberta are exactly the same as the findings everywhere else this has been tried. It has been tried in the UK. It has been tried in different parts of Australia. Everywhere you try it, you end up with the exact same result. It cost the taxpayers more money. Their wait-lists are the longest of all of the provinces in Canada for most of the procedures, but there are some investors that are making millions of dollars off the backs of sick people. There is one corporation that made $108 million. That’s a lot of payments for nurses and quality care that is not being delivered, but this is the path this government has chosen.”

Failing to Deliver: The Alberta Surgical Initiative and Declining Surgical Capacity was released on May 16th 2023 by the Parkland Institute. An Alberta-wide, non-partisan research centre situated within the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. Parkland Institute studies economic, social, cultural, and political issues facing Albertans and Canadians.