In her letter, the Premier outlines her expectations that Alberta fosters an environment within AHS and the entire health community that welcomes innovation and incentivizes the best patient care within the pillars of the Canada Health Act so that no Albertan will ever have to pay out-of-pocket to see their doctor or receive a needed medical treatment. The Premier asks Minister LaGrange to deliver on platform commitments including:

  • Investing $6 million to add five more conditions to the Alberta Newborn Screening Program: congenital cytomegalovirus, argininosuccinic aciduria, guanidinoacetate methyltransferase deficiency, mucopolysaccharidosis type 1, and 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA lyase.

  • Adding more obstetrics doctors for communities in need, including Lethbridge and Fort McMurray.

  • Investing approximately $10 million to develop and implement a province-wide midwifery  strategy.

  • Providing the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation Legacy Grant – a one-time $10-million investment to support women-focused research, advocacy, and care.

The Premier also tasks Minister LaGrange with:

  • Resolving the unacceptable lab services delay challenge so that lab service access is timely across all areas of the province.

  • Continuing to improve emergency medical services response times, decrease surgical backlogs, and cut emergency room wait times.

  • Continuing to implement the recommendations from the Alberta EMS Provincial Advisory Committee and the PricewaterhouseCoopers EMS Dispatch Review to ensure EMS dispatch is being conducted in a way that provides the highest levels of service to Albertans in every part of the province, with special consideration for addressing local resources, challenges and concerns.

  • Supporting primary care as the foundation of our health care system by assessing alternative models of care and leveraging all health care professionals. This includes continuing the work of the Modernizing Alberta's Primary Health Care System initiative, assessing alternative compensation models for family physicians and nurse practitioners, improving the management of chronic disease, and increasing the number of Albertans attached to a medical home.

  • Providing better care to seniors by implementing recommendations from the Facility-Based Continuing Care Review and the Advancing Palliative and End-of-life Care in Alberta report. This includes ongoing work to add continuing care congregate spaces and to help seniors stay in their homes longer with additional supports and appropriate home care.

  • Developing a series of reforms to the health care system that enhance local decision-making authority, improve health care services for all Albertans, and create a more collaborative working environment for our health care workers by incentivizing regional innovation and increasing our ability to attract and retain the health care workers we need.

  • Working to address rural health challenges such as access to health care professionals.

  • Working with municipalities, post-secondary institutions, doctors, and allied health providers to identify strategies to attract and retain health care workers to rural Alberta.

  • Collaborating with the Minister of Technology and Innovation to perform an independent review of the effectiveness of the information technology systems used throughout Alberta's health system and provide recommendations on how to strengthen Alberta's health-care system through the use of technology.

  • Working with the Minister of Advanced Education, who is the lead, to develop streamlined automated credentialing for front-line health care workers, doctors, nurses, and paramedics.

  • Addressing health care staffing challenges, particularly in rural areas, by:

    • Improving health workforce planning.

    • Evaluating retention policies.

    • Leveraging the scope of allied health professionals.

    • Working with the Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism, who is lead, to streamline immigration and certification processes.

    • Increasing the number of training seats for health care professionals in Alberta.

    • Fully implementing the recently negotiated Alberta Medical Association agreement.

  • Working closely with the Minister of Mental Health and Addiction, who is the lead, to ensure that recovery from mental health and addiction and increasing the recovery capital of Albertans is a guiding policy in modernizing Alberta’s primary health care system.

  • Working with the Minister of Technology and Innovation, who is lead, to explore the feasibility of creating an Alberta health spending account to support improved health outcomes for Albertans.

  • Working with the Minister of Justice, who is the lead, to assess the proposed federal medical assistance in dying legislation amendments that would include those with mental health conditions and recommend Alberta's regulation of the profession regarding this proposed legislation.

  • Designing a health ministry-specific job-attraction strategy that raises awareness for young Albertans (aged 16 to 24) and adults changing careers about the skilled trades and professions available in each economic sector, including pathways for education, apprenticeship, and training.

“Health care touches the lives of every Albertan. I look forward to working with our partners in health care delivery towards new and innovative solutions to address the commitments in my mandate letter. I truly believe by working together with our healthcare professionals to find solutions, we can ensure Alberta will have the best health care system in the country and indeed the world.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health