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Alberta puts private industry in charge of public health administration

New board chair is insurance industry investor.

Alberta Health Minister Ron Liepertby Friends of Medicare

May 15, 2008 — Friends of Medicare is alarmed with today's announcement that the province is putting the private health business in charge of our public health system.

"It's never been more obvious that the provincial government wants to turn our public health system over to corporate health businesses," says Suzanne Marshall, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.

The new board chair Ken Hughes is a major insurance industry investor and manager.

"It's like Don Mazankowski all over again," says Suzanne Marshall. "He was the Great West Life Insurance executive that the government asked to study health care in the province. The insurance industry is the biggest force behind two-tier for-profit health care. They want to open up a big market where people are forced to pay more and more for insurance for private health services that are no longer covered by Medicare."

The new CEO Charlotte Robb is also from the for-profit health sector, where she was head of DynaLife Diagnostics (formerly Dynacare Kasper Medical Laboratories), the private laboratory business that picked up a huge market when public health labs were privatized.

"We're very concerned that this latest shuffle in our health system will provide a smokescreen for the government to hive off more and more of our public system with contracts to the growing health care corporate sector," said Ken Collier, FOM Board Chairperson.

FOM is a provincial coalition of individuals, service organizations, social justice groups, unions, associations, churches and other organizations whose object is to raise public awareness on concerns related to Medicare in Alberta and Canada.

Links and sources
  Friends of Medicare

Posted: May 21, 2008

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