WHEREAS the Government of Alberta has budgeted $22.1 billion on healthcare in 2019, representing almost 40 percent of total budget expenditures and an increase of 2.2 percent compared to the previous year’s health budget; and
WHEREAS Alberta’s population is experiencing a high natural growth rate and twenty-five percent of the province’s population is below the age of 18; and
WHEREAS by 2041 the annual number of births in Alberta is expected to grow by 26 percent; and
WHEREAS children’s health care is unique and requires a different approach than adult care given that children are particularly vulnerable to illnesses and infections, many of which can have lifelong ramifications if not properly treated; and
WHEREAS only two out of 106 acute care hospitals in Alberta are dedicated to children’s health; and
WHEREAS treating children close to home has proven health benefits and can help bend the cost-curve on the overall health expenditures for the Government of Alberta; and
WHEREAS the Stollery Children’s Hospital and Alberta Children’s Hospital treat children from across the province (and beyond) and are able to leverage world-class physicians and technology to support treatment of children in health facilities across Alberta;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) request that the Government of Alberta make all aspects of children’s health care a priority by making excellent pediatric care accessible to all Alberta children, regardless of where they live;
FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the RMA request that the Government of Alberta support enhancements to existing infrastructure and programming in order to provide an increased level of care to children and recognize that the Stollery Children’s Hospital and the Alberta Children’s Hospital serve as critical hubs to this network of care for children’s health across the province.
In 2018, the Stollery Children’s Hospital saw over 260,000 children as patients. The vision of the Stollery Children’s Hospital and Alberta Children’s Hospital is to continue to provide services that will help sick kids and their families get better in the quickest time possible. This is accomplished by providing care close to home. This is why the Stollery Foundation would like to partner with communities across the province. The vision is to partner with communities to build a Network of Care, where children services can be offered in local hospitals across the province so kids can heal close to home.
The Government of Alberta, as well as opposition parties, are supportive of expanding this concept. What is needed now is support from communities from across the province.
RMA has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.