Alberta Federation supports fast-tracking and preferential access for WCB patients ahead of other Albertans

In an op ed December 5 in the Edmonton Journal, Alberta Federation of Labor [AFL] President Gil McGowan  defends the Alberta Government’s Bill 6 which would bring farm workers — there’s controversy on who is exactly included, how and when — under the Alberta Workers’ Compensation Board [WCB]

The Canada Health Act allows for injured workers under WCB coverage and inmates of federal prisons to avoid the lineups and the wait lists of the Medicare monopoly. It’s obvious from McGowan’s article that the Alberta Federation of Labour supports this two-tiered approach to publicly funded health care.

Yet the AFL and various unions, e.g., United Nurses of Alberta [UNA], Alberta Union of Provincial Employees [AUPE], Health Sciences Association of Alberta [HSAA] are front-and-centre in condemning “so-called privatization” of health care and patient choice because they will, allegedly, lead to two-tiered health care.

It’s far past time that ordinary Albertans, who cannot afford to seek their health care internationally [e.g., San Diego, Palm Springs, Minneapolis, Rochester, Cleveland, Boston, New York], be able to do so north of  the 49th parallel. Albertans deserve and need a health guarantee so that they can begin to have the same access as WCB injured workers.



Canada’s government-run health care system – Medicare -- is a monopoly that prohibits private hospital and private physician care. Medicare is a subpar performer, ranking 10th among 11 advanced countries. Canadians deserve much better! Patients deserve timely access to quality care and choice of hospitals and physicians. Taxpayers deserve much more value for their tax dollars.

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