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WHEREAS all Albertans, whether urban or rural, are entitled to receive health care services as required; and WHEREAS it is important to the health and quality of life of all citizens, and especially those hospitalized for extended periods of time, to have the support and company of their family and friends and remain in their own communities; and WHEREAS the maintenance of full service hospitals is very important to the viability of rural communities; and WHEREAS it has become the practice of some regional health authorities to remove health services from rural hospitals in order to save costs; and WHEREAS Alberta Health has adopted a population based funding methodology used to distribute funding to Regional Health Authorities; and WHEREAS this funding formula does not adequately address unique situations in rural Alberta such as distance to hospital, shadow populations and geographical areas; and WHEREAS some health regions receive higher population funding than others;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the AAMDC urge the Government of Alberta to review the current funding formula for Regional Health Authorities in order to provide funding that adequately addresses the unique situations found in rural Alberta.
Alberta is experiencing a health care funding crisis in some regional health authorities. This shortfall is being addressed by various cost cutting means.The present base funding formula is mainly driven by population. These criteria do not take into account the sparsity of less populated areas within vast regions. Nor does it take into account the massive shadow population created by the Alberta economy (energy industry, agriculture, tourism, forestry, etc.) which occurs in the rural area.Some regional health authorities receive a base funding of over $1,800 per capita while other receive less than $1,000 per capita. This formula has resulted in under-funding of regional health authorities in many rural areas of our province.
From The AAMDC Advocacy Report Card: Winter 2007 – The MLA Review of Ambulance Service Delivery report recognized ambulance service as an essential health service. The AAMDC is supportive of the move by the provincial government to fund ambulance service. The AAMDC is hopeful that the government will move quickly and efficiently towards the eventual completion of the process announced in 2004. The AAMDC will protect the interests of municipalities through the provincial transfer of ambulance service and funding from municipalities to the regional health authorities. The AAMDC encourages the provincial government to continue with its original intentions to classify ambulance service as a health service.Resolution 12-06F – Rural Doctors Attraction, Incentives and Retention (STATUS: ACTIVE) advocates that the province must accept recruitment, attraction, incentives and retention of Rural health professionals in rural Alberta into their order of government and policy and eliminate that burden from rural municipalities and their tax revenue so that it can be better utilized towards sustainability and local government policy and that the Province in conjunction with the provincial medical association be encouraged to be creative and think out-of-the-box to develop ways and means to reward and compensate rural health professionals so that they desire to practice and stay in rural Alberta. This resolution has been submitted to the Government of Alberta and the Association has not yet received a response.Resolution 23-06F – Requiring Medical Doctors to Intern in Rural Alberta (STATUS: ACTIVE) asks that the AAMDC request the Provincial government and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta to institute a required internship period in rural Alberta for all medical doctor graduates. This resolution has been submitted to the Government of Alberta and the Association has not yet received a response.Resolution 24-06F – Addressing the Educational Needs and Shortage of Medical Personnel in Rural Alberta (STATUS: ACTIVE) asks the Provincial government to establish more educational training schools and hospitals, particularly in rural Alberta, in an attempt to promote the northern areas of our province. This resolution has been submitted to the Government of Alberta and the Association has not yet received a response.
On April 1, 2009 Alberta Health Services replaced Albertas nine regional health authority boards, the Alberta Mental Health Board, Alberta Cancer Board and Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission. Alberta Health Services will review the range of services at exisisting hospitals, those approved and underway, and those in the capital planning process to ensure they reflect local requirements.The AAMDC will continue to monitor health funding across the province, including the implementation of the governments Vision 2020: The Future of Health Care in Alberta to ensure that funding addresses the needs of rural Alberta.