Wait times for cancer treatment in Alberta are some of the worst in the country. A recent report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information, an organization that monitors healthcare wait times across the country, showed that Albertans wait longer than many other Canadians to get access to oncology treatment.
The average wait time for 90% of patients to receive their first round of chemotherapy in Alberta is almost 6 weeks. That seems dangerously long. Now let’s look at our neighbour to the east, Saskatchewan. The average wait time for 90% of patients to receive their first round of chemotherapy in Saskatchewan is eleven days.
Why could that be? That’s such a drastic difference. Surely Saskatchewan must spend way more money on their healthcare system than Alberta.
No, that’s not the case. Saskatchewan spends less money on healthcare than Alberta, but what they do spend, they spend better.
Saskatchewan spends $4,621 dollars on healthcare per person. Alberta spends $4,862 dollars per person. Alberta spends more per capita but sees weeks longer wait times. Alberta spends the second highest amount on healthcare in the whole country, only surpassed by Newfoundland and Labrador. For all that money thrown at healthcare the customers like you and I aren't getting better care or service. That’s the real problem. American studies have shown that lung cancer tumours double in size every 4.3 months. Getting access to treatment fast saves lives.
Rachel Notley, during her campaign, promised us better healthcare and shorter wait times. A year later she has delivered the complete opposite. Albertans were delivered worse, more expensive healthcare and longer waits for the most time sensitive of diseases, like cancer.
Saskatchewan proves that more and better healthcare can happen with less money. Saskatchewan isn't afraid to experiment with private clinics and the governing Saskatchewan party is not hamstrung by some form of Tommy Douglas healthcare puritanism. In Alberta, the NDP treats the healthcare behemoth like Jabba the Hut. It’s a big fat monstrosity that needs to be kowtowed to, and it has an insatiable appetite for cash.
Rachel Notley keeps saying she’s going to protect healthcare. But what is she protecting it from? Accountability? Efficiency? Innovation?