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Alberta to create rural health care action plan

Sept. 26, 2014 – The Alberta government is embarking on a comprehensive review of health care in the province’s rural communities, saying this will ensure that care is coordinated in an efficient and predictable manner.


September 26, 2014
By Massage Therapy Canada staff

“I learned from my travels across Alberta this summer that many rural
communities are seriously concerned about health-care delivery. So I
have tasked MLA Richard Starke to chair a review panel into the delivery
of health care in underserviced rural and remote areas,” Premier Jim
Prentice said in a press conference held this week.

Starke will
chair a review panel of health-care experts and stakeholders. The
committee will identify communities in rural Alberta that need attention
and will review existing services and facilities in consultation with
regional Health Advisory Councils.

“The Premier has been clear we
need to do more listening and less talking when it comes to health
care. We need to listen to and work with our rural partners when
delivering health care in their area,” Stephen Mandel, Minister of
Health, said.

The panel will focus its attention on rural
communities in three categories: those with a population of 1,250 people
and less, between 1,250 and 2,500; and more than 2,500. The panel will
report back to the Minister of Health in 90 days with its findings.

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The review panel will focus on the following areas:
•    Timely access to appropriate health care
•    Evaluation of specialist services in rural areas
•    Optimizing the use of existing rural health facilities, ensuring patient safety and quality services
•    Ensuring communities are engaged in health service planning and policy development
•    Recruitment and retention of health personnel in rural areas, consistent with appropriate levels of care; and
•    The link between rural economic development and the provision of health services within communities.

”We
know there are challenges with health care delivery in rural and remote
areas. We need to look at what we currently have and ensure those
resources are being used practically and in the best way possible – in
consultation with communities,” said Starke, member of the legislative
assembly for Vermilion-Lloydminster. He is also a medical doctor


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