Alberta plummets to second-worst province in Canada for health funding
EDMONTON – The UCP government cut health care spending on a per-person basis in 2022, despite a 2019 election promise to “maintain or increase health spending”, according to data from a respected independent institute.
“Alberta hospitals are predictably being hit with waves of patients,” says Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL). “In a province as wealthy as ours, it’s wrong that the UCP chose to break their promise and decrease health spending. They should support the system that’s literally life-or-death for many Albertans.
Data from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI) shows that Alberta’s health care funding from the provincial government dropped from $3,081 to $2,938 a person. While Alberta used to have one of the best-funded health care systems in Canada, it’s now one of the lowest.
“The UCP say that the overall budget for health has increased, but there’s really less funding for individual Albertans,” says McGowan. “As our province grew and COVID hit, funds were tighter and tighter for individual Albertans.”
The AFL showed that per-person funding for health care from the province is now one of the lowest in Canada. The data also shows that Albertans pay nearly $1,600 each for out-of-pocket health spending.
“It’s not hard to see the connections from these cuts to our overrun children’s hospitals, lack of family doctors, and overstretched ambulance services.” says McGowan. “The solution to the current crisis in our public health care system is not one-off pre-election gimmicks. It’s not contracting out services and firing health care workers. The solution is to expand, enhance and protect public health care.”
Director of Communications, AFL