Alberta's Wildrose Party is tackling health care wait times with an election promise to pay for medical procedures performed at private clinics inside or outside the province, if those can't be done in the public system within a reasonable period of time.
Party Leader Brian Jean says there are too many Albertans waiting too long for things like hip replacement surgery.
If elected, he promised a wait times guarantee so medical patients needing any one of five critical health procedures won't have to wait beyond what is medically advisable as is currently the case.
He says his plan won't cost anymore than it currently does because the government will only pay an amount equivalent to what the same procedure would cost in the Alberta public health system.
"What we are trying to do is fix our goal on making sure health care is better for Albertans and work within the Canada Health Act. We have backlogs. We have people waiting in their houses right over here for surgeries and procedures that they could do now. It doesn't cost any more to do something today than it does in a year from today. What it cost is the productivity of that person and the quality of life for them," said Jean.
Currently, Jean says Albertans are paying 20% above the national average for health care and getting poorer service in part, because of a bloated bureaucracy at Alberta Health Services.
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