Politics
Release health report now: health advocates

An Alberta Health Services EMS ambulance sits in front of the Stanley Milner Library in downtown in Edmonton AB.

Credits: Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency

DAVE LAZZARINO | QMI AGENCY

EDMONTON - Union leaders are demanding the release of a report they say will offer some insight into the province's health-care woes.

But as they wait for that to happen, some say more damage is being done.

"The report was requested by the minister last year in response to issues that were raised by our members," said Elisabeth Ballermann, president of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA), a group that represents 23,000 health-care professionals in Alberta including paramedics.

She said the report, prepared by the Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA) about the province's ground ambulance services, was originally slated for release in October 2012 but was postponed.

Now she said she doesn't expect to see it for another month.

The ministry said this isn't true. According to Fred Horne, Alberta's minister of health, the report was on time and he expects to release it to the public within a week.

"It's quite an extensive report. My intention is to release the report, make it public and give people the opportunity to review it," said Horne.

Ballerman thinks that should be done sooner.

And she said a symptom of what she calls a more systemic health-care problem is playing out in Camrose, where the local ambulance fleet faces possible cuts.

Concerns that an ambulance might get cut from Camrose were narrowly averted Thursday when they received word it would remain running. So far, they have not heard officially whether it will remain a permanent fixture.

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