Government of Alberta launches public health action plan

The government of Alberta is set to launch a variety of initiatives aimed at improving the public health system. The action plan that the government has outlined includes the introduction of new technologies to help Albertans access and understand the health system, which will be announced over the next nine months.

Alberta’s Minister of Health and Wellness Ron Liepert said that Alberta’s public health system is good, but needs to be made more accessible.

“We’ve set out an ambitious plan to make the necessary decisions and changes to build a better health care system that will be there for people when they need it,” said Liepert in a released statement.

The plan calls for immediate action in areas including:

– Mandatory accreditation and reporting for all Alberta health service providers and facilities.
– Monitoring for compliance with province-wide infection prevention and control standards.
– Address workforce-related issues and support for continuing care.
– Develop a patient navigator system to improve access to health services and continuity of care.
– Expand the role of pharmacists in preventing and managing chronic diseases.

With respect to the health care workforce, the plan outlines that the Ministry of Alberta Advanced Education and Technology will work to create new education seats for physicians, registered nurses and other health professionals.

Beginning in 2010, Career and Technology Studies health care pathways will provide opportunities for high school students to obtain post-secondary certifications in health occupations.

“Out top priority is to improve accessibility and the future sustainability of the health system,” said Liepert.

He added that they will be building on policies outlined in the 2006 Health Policy Framework – Getting on with Better Health Care.

“The outcome of the plan is a sustainable, effective and efficient health system that provides quality patient-focused care to Albertans.”

Funding and legislative changes for action plan initiatives will be outlined in the 2009/10 provincial budget and the 2009 spring session of the Alberta Legislative Assembly.

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