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Don't privatize lab services

Those among us who honestly believe the United Conservative Party does not have an agenda to privatize our public health care system should take the blinders off.
opinion

Those among us who honestly believe the United Conservative Party does not have an agenda to privatize our public health care system should take the blinders off. It has becomes increasingly obvious that UCP insiders are in the pocket of corporate health care lobbyists. A case in point is the UCP laboratory services giveaway in June of this year to Dynalife, a spinoff of Laboratory Corporation of America which enjoyed a $5.6 billion profit last year. As part of the giveaway, the UCP is closing the doors at hospital laboratories across Alberta, including those at the Sturgeon Community Hospital, to Albertans who have used these public services for decades. As of Dec. 5, we can no longer walk in or even book an appointment for lab work at local community hospitals.

I have used the lab services at the Sturgeon Hospital almost exclusively the entire time I have lived here in St. Albert. Unlike the overcrowded DynaLife waiting rooms with long, slow moving queues, the lab at the Sturgeon Hospital provides efficient service and fast results. I can count, without fail, on appointment times being kept at the Sturgeon, unlike the nearby DynaLife lab, and results from the hospital lab are often available online the same day samples are taken. Obviously there is plenty of capacity in this public model, yet the UCP are shutting Albertans out to the benefit of corporate interests. 

This is political ideology at it's worst. One can only guess how deep into corporate pockets the hands of UCP politicians go to facilitate such largess. Alberta New Democrats had the issue fixed in the short time they were in power. DynaLife was out and a new provincially owned central processing facility was under construction that would have opened in 2022. One of the first things the UCP did on taking power after the last election was put the kibosh on the work underway that would have ended the giveaway of our efficient public laboratory services. 

The American corporate health care model has proven to be an abject failure. It costs Americans twice as much as Canadians per capita for health care and a huge segment of the American population suffers from having no access to health care at all. It is ludicrous to consider adopting such a failed model and criminal for a government of the people to go down this road. We the electorate need to recall such travesties at election time. I know where my vote is going next May and it will most assuredly not be to a UCP candidate, guaranteed.

Dave Burkhart, St. Albert