In July 2020, the UCP passed Bill 30: The Health Statutes Amendment Act, provincial legislation that proposes to cut approval times required for private surgical facilities. Shortly after, the government announced their intention to establish a "Health Contracting Secretariat," to build the health care delivery market and reduce barriers to market entry for larger corporate players. The Request For Proposals (RFP) was open for just one month (June 24 - July 24, 2020), and indicated that this secretariat would be used to build internal markets for outsourcing surgeries, primary care, continuing care, diagnostic and virtual care:
“The Secretariat will report to Alberta Health and will advise on the development of the capacity within Alberta Health to continue this work into the future. AHS will continue to own, oversee, and issue contracts with independent providers. The Secretariat will transfer expertise so AHS has the ability to effectively implement the Secretariat’s advice with respect its contracts. This includes the development of any monitoring and measurement frameworks required under innovative contracts and funding models to hold independent providers accountable for agreed upon outcomes. Independent providers are expected to be able to provide clinical services in a number of areas including: the expanded use of chartered surgical facilities; primary care; continuing care; diagnostics; and virtual care.”
On August 10, 2020, a contract worth $986,500 was awarded to Ernst & Young (EY) — the same company that the government paid $2 million to tell us that we would find cost savings by privatizing our health care. “It is shameful that high priced consultants have made close to $3M of our health care dollars to deliver Premier Kenney’s and Minister Shandro’s narrative that ‘private is better”, says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director, Friends of Medicare.
Albertans deserve more respect and accountability as to how this government spends our tax payers’ dollars. This is a government has failed repeatedly to present Albertans with any kind of business plan or cost comparison as to how much this privatization agenda will actually cost Albertans.
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