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Health advocates want Alberta to spend more on injury, disease prevention

Health advocacy group Wellness Alberta wants the Alberta government to spend more money on disease and injury prevention programs and is calling for the creation of an independent foundation that would be funded by the province at a cost of $170 million a year.


November 11, 2014
By The Canadian Press

Dr. Louis Francescutti says Alberta spends about one per cent of its
health budget to prevent injuries and chronic diseases such as cancer,
heart disease and diabetes, but that isn’t enough.

He says the added money would be for programs to encourage people to eat
healthier, be more physically active and to avoid tobacco.

Francescutti, who is a professor at the University of Alberta School of
Public Health, says the foundation would save money in the long term by
reducing the need for people to be in hospitals.

The group says a Leger online poll that it commissioned suggests most
Albertans surveyed want the government to at least double spending on
disease and injury prevention.

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“These illnesses and injuries are largely preventable – but the
government needs to increase its investment now in proactive strategies
to keep more Albertans healthy and out of the health-care system,” he
said Monday.

Francescutti completed a one-year term as president of the Canadian Medical Association in August.

Other members of Wellness Alberta include energy industry executive Jim
Gray, Kate Chidester of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Brian
Geislinger with Alberta Blue Cross and Dr. Chris Eagle, former president
and CEO of Alberta Health Services.


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