ALBERTA: Improving wait times, focusing funding on outcomes highlight Jean’s vision for health care system

CALGARY: Brian Jean on Monday announced he would launch a new strategy to aggressively improve wait times, end “divorce by nursing home,” reform the funding model to focus more on outcomes for patients and implement policies to put patients at the very centre of the health care system.

The policy, Here for Patients: Brian Jean’s 2030 vision for Alberta’s health care system, was released in Calgary with UCP Chestermere-Rocky View MLA Leela Sharon Aheer and UCP Highwood MLA Wayne Anderson.

“For years, Albertans have watched costs rise for a distant and centralized health care system as outcomes for patients and seniors continue to decline,” Jean said. “Just spending more money won’t fix the problem, we need to fix the system. I have heard countless stories from Albertans who have seen the health care system fail their families. I’ve seen it first hand. It’s time we start delivering solutions.”

Jean’s policy to improve wait times builds on his private members’ motion released earlier this year that would see Alberta copy best practices used in other provinces.

A recent report from the Auditor General highlighted that pumping more money into the system wouldn’t fix the problem and called for changes similar to some of those  announced on Monday by Jean.

Other highlights of the policy include:

  • Shift the family doctor (PCN) funding model to a bundled per capita approach with incentives for doctors to use innovative preventative care approaches to improve overall health and reduce costs;

  • Shift hospitals to activity-based funding to focus on outcomes for patients so hospitals have more incentive to efficiently discharge more healthy patients rather than consider them a cost;

  • Make a patient-centred system possible through establishing a single e-record clinical system with a mobile portal so patients and all relevant professionals have access to records; and,

  • Use more home care and flexible seniors facilities to put an end to the practice of “divorce by nursing home”.

Jean said there needs to be an entire rethink of how healthcare is done in Alberta so patients are empowered and are not forgotten.

“Too many families have had to watch loved ones be kicked around a broken system and funding model. The focus needs to be on actually curing people, not just dollars spent,” Jean said. “There is no fast fix for the healthcare system, but reforms need to start soon before the current system becomes financially unsustainable.”

The policy can be read in full here.