Proposed amendments would continue government’s work to improve governance and accountability, and ensure the health system and health professionals are meeting Albertans’ needs.

“As we move forward with modernizing Alberta’s health system, it’s important for health legislation to stay current and support the priorities of Albertans. Finding efficiencies, enhancing patient safety and improving patient outcomes remain our top priorities.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

Highlights of Bill 46, the Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020:

  • Strengthening protection of patients by regulating health-care aides.
  • Separating regulatory colleges from professional associations and allowing for the amalgamation of some smaller colleges.
  • Establishing a centralized, public-facing online registry of health professionals to help Albertans find a health provider.
  • Delivering better results for Albertans by allowing authorized health organizations and professionals to share health information in Alberta Netcare more efficiently and support better patient outcomes.
  • Keeping legislation current and increasing penalties for unauthorized use of patient health information.
  • Repealing the outdated Hospitals Act and moving all applicable parts into the Health Facilities Act.
  • Changing the name of the ABC Benefits Corporation Act to the Alberta Blue Cross Act to reflect the familiar name of the organization.
  • Updating some administrative items under the Health Professions Act to support best practices and improve responsiveness.

“We’re very pleased that as part of this legislation, health-care aides will be regulated as a separate profession within our college. The change will protect Albertans by requiring health-care aides to adhere to the same regulatory standards as other health professionals in Alberta.”

Jeanne Weis, chief executive officer, College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta

“CPSA has worked collaboratively with the government and provided honest feedback as these amendments were being drafted. Our feedback, along with that of other regulators, has been accepted and the proposed amendments announced today demonstrate the government’s willingness to make changes that support quality patient care and modernization of health legislation.”

Dr. Scott McLeod, registrar and chief executive officer, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta

“CARNA supports updating the Health Professions Act, including government’s expectation that health profession regulators operate with a single mandate. CARNA’s council acted in September 2020 to separate its dual mandate. We’ve already started the work towards a single regulatory college. We believe the public expects this.”

Joy Peacock, registrar and chief executive officer, College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta

“The Alberta Dental Association and College supports the proposed amendments to the Health Professions Act that will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Health Professions Act. This supports our continued efforts to ensure public protection and to act in the best interest of Albertans. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Government of Alberta.”

Dr. Bruce Yaholnitsky, president, Alberta Dental Association and College

“Making it easier for Albertans to obtain the health care they need is so very important. Navigating multiple websites to find that care can be overwhelming and frustrating. The central online registry of health professionals will enable Albertans to find a health professional more easily and access health services sooner.”

Janice Harrington, Alberta health advocate

“The Health Quality Council of Alberta is pleased to see the proposed amendments to the Health Information Act. Streamlining the sharing of electronic health information between Alberta Health, Alberta Health Services, and ourselves will allow the health system to be more effective on many levels. One of our responsibilities is to identify effective practices and make recommendations to improve patient safety and health service quality for Albertans. Greater access to information removes barriers to accomplishing our work. We also understand the need to protect Albertans’ health information. I believe these amendments are the right balance.”

Charlene McBrien-Morrison, acting chief executive officer, Health Quality Council of Alberta

Bill 46 would amend the Health Professions Act, the Health Information Act, the Health Facilities Act, and the ABC Benefits Corporation Act. If passed, it would also repeal the Hospitals Act. Full details of the Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 are available online.

“Netcare access means quicker access to information for the medical examiner’s office that will help certify the cause and manner of death. More importantly, it will make a difference to grieving Alberta families who have lost loved ones unexpectedly, by helping us provide answers to next of kin more efficiently and quickly.”

Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra, acting Alberta chief medical examiner

“The privacy of health information is important to all Albertans, as are the outcomes of their care. Improvements to the Health Information Act will facilitate the responsible sharing of data and support health research. Many years of thoughtful engagement have led to these changes and I am excited to see how researchers throughout the province will use health data to address the most important problems in health care.”

Lawrence Richer, vice-dean, research (clinical), faculty of medicine and dentistry, University of Alberta

Changes to the Health Information Act will improve information sharing and health service delivery, particularly in border communities such as Lloydminster.

“Delays in access to essential health information for Albertans who are receiving health services in other provinces can disrupt the continuation of their care. I fully support the proposed amendments to the Health Information Act – the government is moving in the right direction. The amendments would set the stage for future regulations that would enable health-care professionals, particularly in border communities such as Lloydminster, to access patient information in Alberta Netcare.”

Garth Roswell, MLA for Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright

“I am pleased to see the Alberta government taking this step to update the Health Information Act. The residents of Lloydminster will be better served when their health-care providers can access important patient information in Alberta Netcare, no matter which side of the border they live on.”

Gerald S. Aalbers, mayor, City of Lloydminster

“We are on track to reduce unnecessary red tape by one-third in Alberta. Eliminating the outdated Hospitals Act and having just one act, the Health Facilities Act, govern hospitals will make things more streamlined and efficient for those working in our health system.”

Grant Hunter, Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction