Alberta Medical Association

Alberta Medical Association

February 28, 2008 11:01 ET

Alberta Doctors Assign a "B," a "C+," a "C" and a "D" to Political Parties for Their Health Care Policies

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Feb. 28, 2008) - Alberta doctors have given the Liberal Party a "B" for its answers to 10 health care questions posed by the Alberta Medical Association (AMA). New Democrats had a "C+," Progressive Conservatives a "C" and Greens a "D."

"Health care is a very high priority for Albertans, so it is important to know where the political parties stand on key issues," according to AMA President Dr. Darryl D. LaBuick.

He encouraged Albertans to review the questions and answers on the AMA's website - www.albertadoctors.org - as they are deciding which party to support in the March 3 provincial election.

"Some people will agree with us, some others may not," said Dr. LaBuick. "The most important grade is the one that Albertans give when they vote next Monday."

The grades the four parties received and the actual responses to each question are attached (and can also be found via the Marketwire website at http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/228ama_GRADES.pdf and http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/228ama_RESPONSES.pdf, respectively). The Wildrose Alliance Party did not respond. "We appreciate the cooperation of the four parties who answered our questions," the AMA president said.

Five questions asked the parties how they would put Patients First® by:

- Protecting patient confidentiality in electronic medical records (EMRs) and electronic health records (EHRs)

- Addressing physician shortages

- Making primary care networks available to all Albertans

- Paying for preventive services such as advice from physicians on how to stop smoking

- Not lowering the standards physicians need to meet in order to practise in Alberta

The other five questions dealt with the role that physicians play in the delivery of health care:

- Computerizing physicians' offices

- Developing a provincial electronic health record (EHR)

- Respecting the professionalism and professional autonomy of physicians

- Recognizing the value of the trilateral agreement between the Alberta Medical Association, the provincial government and the regional health authorities

- Involving the Alberta Medical Association and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta in the development of rules and regulations for Bill 41

Asking AMA members to grade the answers was a novel project for the Alberta Medical Association. In just four days, about 150 members participated.

Patients First® is a registered trademark of the Alberta Medical Association.

To arrange an interview with Dr. LaBuick, please see contact information below.

Contact Information

  • Alberta Medical Association
    Ronald A. Kustra
    Assistant Executive Director (Public Affairs)
    Cell: (780) 990-4271
    or
    Alberta Medical Association
    Shannon E. Rupnarain
    Director (Public Affairs)
    Cell: (780) 907-9003