Protecting and Enhancing Public Healthcare

Our public healthcare system was once the envy of many. It's time we reclaim that position.

MARCH 21, 2024

EDMONTON — Alberta NDP Leadership Candidate Rakhi Pancholi announced her comprehensive healthcare plan, promising to restore the province's reputation for having the best public healthcare system in Canada.

"My goal is crystal clear," said Pancholi. "We can and should ensure that Albertans have the best access to the best quality of healthcare in the country. Our public healthcare system was once the envy of many. It's time we reclaim that position."

Repairing the Foundation of Public Healthcare

Pancholi’s plan focuses on the following immediate priorities to rebuild and reinforce the foundation for strong public healthcare in Alberta after five years of undermining and under-investment from the UCP:

  • Ensure fair and competitive compensation for nurses.
  • Implement a new comprehensive funding model for family physicians.
  • Prioritize the implementation of integrated, team-based primary care.
  • Build the South Edmonton Hospital, Red Deer Hospital, and Airdrie Urgent Care Clinic.

“Alberta can be a world-class system if Albertans can access the right care, from the right provider, right away,” said Pancholi. “The UCP’s neglect and delay have created a system bursting at the seams and leaving frontline workers burned out.”

"When did building hospitals become too ambitious for Alberta?" she challenged. "We're Albertans. Thinking big and delivering on promises is what we do."

Holding the Government Accountable for its Core Responsibilities

Pancholi proposes implementing the following measures to facilitate transparency and accountability between Albertans and the Government of Alberta:

  • Establish legislated standards for timely, consistent, reliable, and quality healthcare delivery, giving Albertans a mechanism to hold the government accountable for its promises and measure tangible outcomes.
  • Shift the burden of care from acute care to strong community care, including increased capacity for seniors to receive care in their communities and homes.
  • Make a clear commitment and plan to eliminate the significant gaps in access and coverage for public mental health support.

“Government should be accountable for telling Albertans what we’re going to do, and how we’re going to do it – setting concrete benchmarks to improve care is how we can best communicate to Albertans whether we’re achieving progress,” said Pancholi.

Rakhi Pancholi is pictured in a warm and engaging conversation with two men at an indoor event. She is smiling, wearing a dark blouse, and stands out in the centre of the image. One man is facing her wearing a red vest, and the other is viewed from the back, wearing a suit. The setting includes modern decor with large windows and a wooden column, suggesting a contemporary and casual professional gathering.

Coordinating a Healthcare Workforce Plan

Recognizing people as the foundation of a robust healthcare system, Pancholi calls for creating a Healthcare Workforce Plan with clear short-term and long-term strategies to address the shortages and distribution of healthcare professionals across the province.

The Healthcare Workforce Plan would include targeted strategies for:

  • Reestablishing the Workforce Planning Group, disbanded by the UCP, with representation from government, post-secondary institutions, health care professionals, and Indigenous and cultural community experts.
  • Training, attracting, and retaining healthcare professionals, including, but not limited to, targeted approaches for physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, mental health professionals, pharmacists, physician assistants, and EMTs.
  • Improving and maintaining quality care across all facets of the healthcare spectrum (public health, primary care, acute care, and long-term care).
  • Addressing workforce challenges in rural and remote communities.
  • Addressing how to efficiently recognize the credentials of foreign-trained healthcare professionals, making it easier for International Medical Graduates to practice in Alberta.

Reestablish Alberta’s Reputation as a Global Leader in Medical Research

Pancholi is committed to re-establishing a transformative Medical Research Foundation inspired by former Premier Peter Lougheed’s Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.

"Alberta has the potential to lead the world in medical innovation,” said Pancholi. “We will attract the best and brightest minds to further secure Alberta as a global leader in medical research and inform the highest quality of public healthcare.”

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Rakhi will be available for interviews upon request.

Shifrah Gadamsetti
[email protected]