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NDP and ACFP calling on government for more funding and support for Alberta doctors

by Morinville News Staff

After two days of calling on the government to ban evictions, and Thursday calling on the government to provide funds to childcare centers they say are in danger of being permanently closed, the Alberta NDP is now calling on the government to provide more funding and support to Alberta’s doctors.

Citing a March 25 letter from the President and the Executive Director of the Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) that indicates doctors are having to consider letting go of essential employees and sacrificing their own well-being due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NDP is asking for immediate funding and supports for the province’s doctors.

“It’s outrageous that Minister Shandro is continuing to harass and attack the frontline healthcare professionals who are working tirelessly to protect the lives of Albertans,” said David Shepherd, NDP Opposition Critic for Health. “Minister Shandro is creating chaos and dangerous distractions for family doctors when he should be supporting them in every way possible.”

The NDP say the college is asking Shandro to provide sufficient funding for family doctors to replace in-person consultations with virtual or telehealth options; provide sufficient personal protective equipment for doctors, patients and staff; and to stop undermining primary care with badly thought-out surprises like the Telus Babylon app.

The opposition says family physicians also report large numbers of seniors trying to secure driver’s medical exams before the Minister de-lists them as part of his tearing-up of the contract.

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“Even if he won’t cancel this attack on seniors, he should absolutely delay it until after the danger has passed. Forcing vulnerable Albertans into crowded doctors’ waiting rooms is absolutely the wrong thing to do right now,” Shepherd said.

“We are in the midst of a public health emergency, with schools and businesses closed and millions of Albertans staying home to do their part. And yet the Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro, is actively undermining these efforts. I don’t know whose advice he is listening to right now, but he should start listening to Alberta’s frontline healthcare professionals immediately.”

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