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WHEREAS on February 28, 2006, the Government of Alberta, released a new Health Policy Framework, the Third Way; andWHEREAS the Third Way provides options but does not quantify specific costs that will be borne by rural municipalities or citizens; andWHEREAS the download costs to rural municipalities are not addressed;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to pay all costs incurred by rural municipalities as a result of the new Health Policy Framework – the Third Way.
The Third Way brochure highlights quotations such as; “Options must be available, so Albertans can decide for themselves how to best pay for any services that may not be covered by the Government” and “Patients may be given the option of purchasing services they are waiting for now: such as hip, knee and cataract surgery”. These policy statements address health options, but not the cost impact nor downloading upon rural municipalities.Our rural municipalities are directly responsible for health benefits to our employees and indirectly to the balance of MUSH sector: universities, schools and hospitals. Through the employee bargaining process any new optional Third Way health costs will be borne by rural municipalities. The financial impact of the Third Way is unclear. Rural municipalities must be safeguarded from the downloading of health costs in the maintenance of the Provincial Health System.
The ‘Third Way’ plan has been abandoned.