Health care questions for UCP leadership candidates

The Alberta Medical Association is seeking to understand each UCP leadership candidate’s vision and plan for addressing the challenges in our health care system. We asked our 14,000 members what health care related questions they have for the candidates. We also asked our online patient community – made up of over 40,000 Albertans – at PatientsFirst.ca.

We posed 10 questions to each UCP leadership candidate on behalf of member physicians and Alberta patients.

Here is a table tracking who (in alphabetical order) has sent us responses so far.

UCP leadership candidate

Responses received

Leela Aheer

View responses

Brian Jean

View responses

Rajan Sawhney

View responses

Rebecca Schulz 

View responses

Danielle Smith

View responses

10 Questions

  1. Every Albertan needs a family doctor (supported by a team of health professionals to look after their comprehensive, life-long needs), but many Albertans either cannot find a family doctor, or cannot get in to see theirs. Albertans are worried and want to know what your vision is to improve access to primary care in Alberta?
     
  2. Alberta is facing a shortage of all kinds of health care professionals. What would you do as premier to increase our ability to attract and retain the physicians that Albertans need? What do you think will be required:
    - For rural Alberta?
    - For our small and large cities?
    - To attract and retain medical students and resident physicians? 
     
  3. Patients are experiencing extremely long wait times in emergency departments and hallways are lined with emergency responders who are unable to hand-off their patients. How will you address this crisis to reduce the waiting time for patients and improve the care they receive?
     
  4. Physicians support the medical home model, where many health professions work together (to their full scope of practice) to care for patients. How would you increase this team-based approach so that patients can avoid delays, avoid duplicate testing and receive the care they need, at the right time, from the right provider?
     
  5. With respect to private contractors providing public health care services, how will you ensure all patients receive the same quality of care regardless of where they receive it or from whom? How will corporations like Telus or Shoppers Drug Mart fit into the delivery of health care for Albertans?
     
  6. Academic medicine plays a unique role in delivering clinical care but also in research, teaching and leadership/administration. Academic doctors in Alberta want to know what you would do to sustain academic medicine and ensure that we attract the best and brightest to Alberta?
     
  7. Albertans were having difficulties accessing mental health services before the pandemic and now it is much worse. What would you do to provide increased access for Albertans and particularly for children and youth?
     
  8. The medical laboratory system in Alberta exists to help Albertans diagnose, treat and monitor disease. That system has been in constant flux over the past decade with changing directives of various governments. Significant infrastructure and equipment issues plague urban and rural communities alike. Given the history of conflicting directions with lab services in Alberta over the past decade, what is your plan to provide certainty and stability when it comes to this crucial medical service?
     
  9. Patients expect government and system leaders to think about long-term quality, sustainability and better integration in health care. Sometimes the four-year election cycle of governments can complicate long-term decision making. How will you ensure that solutions and improvements in health care are truly in the best interest of patients over the long term?
     
  10. Physicians have been without a contract for two years and negotiations continue for a new agreement. What are your thoughts about the kind of relationship your government would have with physicians?

The AMA advances patient-centered, quality care by advocating for and supporting physician leadership and wellness.