Wildrose Party of Alberta Responses

Question 1: Cancer Care and Healthcare Services

In a recent poll conducted by CBC Vote Compass, healthcare is the number two issue on the minds of Alberta voters. If elected:

A) How will your government improve the delivery of cancer care and other healthcare services in Alberta?

Albertans have been paying more and more for health care, but are not getting better results. Our system ranks near the bottom in Canada when it comes to wait times for most critical health care treatments and procedures.

Wildrose will sit down with doctors and nurses to make sure that the concrete changes they are asking for really happen. We need a system that cures the patient, rather than focusing on the procedure, provider, and bureaucracy.

B) Will your government continue to provide a publicly funded healthcare system or would it institute a private healthcare system?

Wildrose is committed to improving the system inside of the Canada Health Act. We will not institute a private health care system.

C) How will your government restructure healthcare delivery in Alberta?

Wildrose will create a Patient-Centered Healthcare System, which puts patients first, empowers them to make informed decisions, and supports partnerships between patients and health care providers.

We will focus on the patient-care based funding model to include community-based out-patient health services, primary care services, and publicly contracted community based surgical service facilities. There are many underused rural hospitals in Alberta and we need to find innovative ways to make use of them.

Wildrose will gradually decentralize the delivery of health care services to the local or facility level, and work on a model of local decision-making for ambulance service.

D) How will your government ensure that cancer patients receive the services they need, including home care, financial assistance during recovery and for long-term side effects of cancer and/or treatment?

Wildrose will reallocate funding (at least $50m) for home care as part of a more patient-friendly system.

Question 2: Drug Approval

A key element of providing timely treatment for cancer patients is ensuring that they have access to the medications they need at the time they need them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case in Alberta.

On average between 2004-2010, Alberta approved for public reimbursement 17.7% of the 306 new drugs approved by Health Canada, compared to the cross-country provincial average for the same period of 23.44% (Access Delayed, Access Denied: Waiting for New Medicines in Canada, Mark Rovere and Brett J. Skinner, Studies in Health Policy, April 2012, The Fraser Institute).

If elected, will your government commit to increasing the number of new cancer and other drugs approved for public reimbursement so that all Albertans have timely access to the drugs they need, and if so, how will this be accomplished?

Wildrose has a strong history of advocating for both a healthy, streamlined health system overall, and the timely inclusion of drugs that need to be available for Albertans. We are committed to working with health professionals to find ways to improve this system and ensure that resources are focused on health services, and not on an inefficient bureaucracy.

Wildrose supports efforts to negotiate lower prices for new drugs, and find other creative ways to maximize the rate of new approvals.