Alberta’s health system needs overhaul, auditor general says – Edmonton

Alberta’s auditor general has ideas to fix the province’s fragmented health-care system and says the public and medical professionals should be an integral part of the reforms.

Merwan Saher and a team of auditors released a report Thursday titled Better Healthcare for Albertans, which outlines a plan they say won’t cost more money. 

The report highlights what Alberta has been doing wrong and looks at other jurisdictions that have been successful in using a team-based, integrated health system, an idea that has been floated since the mid-1990s. 

Saher said the goal is to “take the entire health system to a higher level, to make a quantum leap rather than continuing to make incremental change, reorganizing or moving in circles.” 

Auditor general Merwan Saher says doctors and other care providers need to integrate services and work together. (CBC)

Each patient would get a tailor-made, long-term health plan with input from various specialists, and all specialists would have access to a patient’s health records.

Patients should be able to access their health information online, Saher said. Currently, people don’t have direct access to their information and their health records are not made available to new doctors.  

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said she supports a seamless flow of information for those who need it. 

“To be able to access all of the files you have with your primary care provider can be very challenging,” she said Thursday. 

Hoffman agreed with the auditor general that sharing health records was important “to ensure people making decisions have all the information.” 

Alberta’s primary care networks have made an attempt at this with multidisciplinary teams of nurses, social workers, respiratory therapists, exercise specialists and registered dietitians.  

Alberta has some of the best medical professionals in the world, Saher said, but the system is disconnected.

Why it’s not working


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