Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann respond to Health Minister’s EMS Hotline Criticism

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan & MLA Dr. David Swann issue a response to Government criticism of their EMS Hotline.

Alberta Liberals set up the EMS Hotline with the best intentions for the benefit of all Albertans. The NDP Health Minister claims we are being irresponsible. We strongly disagree.

Khan stated, “In fact, we are being honest with Albertans by helping expose the issues plaguing EMS. We are giving frontline staff and patients a chance to confidentially express their experiences and concerns.

“We want more transparency and accountability at EMS. We want Albertans to receive safe, quality service and not have to listen to more partisan attacks and excuses from the NDP Government.”

Swann stated, “EMS union staff have told us they fear disciplinary action by their employer AHS for being whistleblowers. They are reluctant to express concerns through established AHS channels. They don’t want to suffer repercussions by talking about operational problems including slower EMS response times and extended waiting with patients in ER hallways. Alberta Liberals will protect the identity of frontline staff, patients and anyone else who uses the EMS Hotline. They can speak freely. We have their backs.

“We will use their data to help develop solutions—why would the NDP be upset about that?

“Clearly, problems still exist and after three three years in office this NDP Government has not resolved those problems.”

Red Alerts stats are no longer being released by AHS. There is less transparency by this NDP Government and therefore less accountability about EMS delayed response times, costly overtime wages and other concerns.

Alberta Liberals want to spur the release of more of that important information to all Albertans. Taxpayers deserve to know what problems continue in EMS so the system can be improved. We believe the Liberals’ EMS Hotline will help to achieve those goals.

Khan added, “We want to be part of the thoughtful solutions at EMS that will help all Albertans. We do not want to be part of the Government’s cover-up.

“Albertans deserve a high quality, efficient EMS system that puts patients first and safeguards frontline staff.”

David Swann and David Khan are available for interviews by phone or Skype.


Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA Dr David Swann launch EMS Hotline

Dr. David Swann and the Alberta Liberal Opposition have launched an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Hotline: 1-888-442-4664

The Hotline will give Albertans and EMS staff a chance to anonymously report concerns with the Provincial EMS system including delays in response times and hours waiting in ER hallways.

Swann and Khan exposed wasteful mismanagement within EMS earlier this year which delays EMS response times, impacts patient safety and increases staff overtime. EMS staff worked 135,000 hours overtime. That O.T. cost Alberta taxpayers around $12 million in extra wages in 2016.

AHS data showed that 2 member EMS crews spent 650,000 hours in one year waiting in emergency rooms to transfer patients to attending nurses. The median wait time in Alberta is nearly four times greater than the United Kingdom standard of 15 minutes.

Swann stated, “I believe the EMS Hotline will help us learn more about the crisis in our EMS system. Alberta Liberals will use this data to push for solutions and pressure the NDP Government to take urgent needed action.”

Khan stated, “The NDP announced $25 million more in spending for EMS in this year’s Budget. We still don’t know how this money is being spent or if it will address these issues.

“Alberta Liberals want immediate policy changes that will target excessive overtime hours and hallway wait times. Albertans deserve a better EMS system.”

In addition to the EMS Hotline, the Alberta Liberals are also issuing a survey to EMS workers to learn more about their workplace challenges and solutions.

Albertans can share their EMS concerns by calling the Hotline at 1-888-442-4664.Their identities and information will be protected. If they prefer to share their experiences in writing they can send an email in confidence to hotlineEMSalberta@gmail.com

Khan and Dr. Swann will host a News Conference at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, July 19, at the Calgary-Mountain View Constituency Office (#102, 723 – 14 Street NW, Calgary).

They will also be available for interviews by phone or Skype.


Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA David Swann blast NDP year-end financial results

Alberta Liberal Leader David Khan and MLA David Swann issue release on the 2017-18 Alberta Government year-end financial results:

Khan stated, “Albertans continue to suffer through a jobless recovery while the NDP Government continues to ride the resource revenue roller coaster.

“Income tax revenue is $402 million short of the NDP’s own Budget projections. Albertans have to be working to pay income taxes. More Albertans are forced to be self-employed just to give themselves a pay cheque.”

Khan added, “Corporate tax income is $470 million lower than forecasted. Businesses are going bankrupt or moving away. NDP policies continue to drive investment away from this Province.

“The current $8 billion deficit has been reduced by a $1.9 billion increase in non-renewable resource revenue. Getting a lucky bounce in oil prices is not a financial plan.

“Albertans still have $8 billion reasons to be very unhappy with these financial results. The NDP are still riding the resource roller coaster. That ride will go off the rail if oil prices fall again.”

Swann stated, “Alberta Liberals would tackle this problem with pro-growth tax reform that would expand the economy and boost Government revenue to pay for social services. The NDP are mortgaging Albertans’ future and their children’s future with a current debt over $43 billion. The annual interest payments on that debt are $1.4 billion.

“Government spending is $400 million higher than last year and Albertans are not getting value for their money. Government spending isn’t going towards reducing class sizes. It’s not going towards boosting AISH payments. And the massive health budget isn’t reducing wait times.

“We don’t have to spend more. We have to spend more wisely. Albertans simply can’t afford this NDP Government.”


Alberta Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann calls for PChAD reform

Alberta Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann has issued the following release in response to today’s provincial Child and Youth Advocate’s report on the opioid deaths of 12 young children:

Swann stated, “This report makes it clear that our mental health and addictions care is fragmented. We are not adequately integrating families or Government agencies in the care process.

“The care we are providing is too crisis focused. We need to start investing resources in prevention and early intervention as recommended in the Valuing Mental Health Report.

“Most striking is the need to review and reform the Protection of Children Abusing Drugs Act (PChAD). Young Albertans are placed in this program as a last resort. It is unclear what treatments they are given and what, if any, follow-up supports they are given.

“This is especially concerning given many patients make harmful connections at PChAD facilities that help facilitate their addiction issues. They need continued support after they leave PChAD facilities.

“I’m calling on the Justice Minister to launch a formal review of PChAD and report the results to all Albertans.

“The Progressive Conservatives created this mess with their antiquated views on addiction. The UCP made it worse by stigmatizing addictions. The NDP are failing to move quickly enough to reform the system..

“Now is the time for a comprehensive strategy that emphasizes early education, promotes prevention and fully integrates family, community, government and non-governmental services.”


Alberta Liberal MLA David Swann exposes wasteful mismanagement in EMS

Liberal MLA Dr. David Swann has revealed new information about wasteful mismanagement in EMS.

“A FOIP obtained by the Alberta Liberals shows that Alberta’s paramedics worked 135,000 hours of overtime in 2016. That equates to almost $10 million in extra wage costs.”

“The AHS and NDP Government need to hire more paramedics to reduce this unnecessary expense.” Swann told reporters today.

Swann says other systemic issues include EMS services not keeping pace with the needs of Albertans.

“AHS statistics show EMS events are up almost 19% over 5 years but there has only been a 2.9% increase in new ambulances and 3.4% increase in new full-time equivalent paramedics. Additionally, there were more than 63,000 extra EMS calls over the past 5 years. EMS is stretched to the limits trying to handle the needs of over 500,000 new Albertans.”

“The latest AHS data also indicates EMS staff wait a median time of nearly 1 hour when transferring a patient in ER to the attending nurses – equivalent to just over $20 million dollars a year in lost time.”

“Paramedics spend more than 650,000 hours in ER awaiting patient transfer to nursing staff.”

DR Swann is available for interviews by phone or on Skype.


Liberal MLA David Swann and Liberal Leader David Khan says EMS Union (HSAA) data shows systemic crisis

Liberal MLA David Swann says, “The NDP Government should immediately boost frontline resources for EMS across Alberta.”

“AHS statistics show EMS events are up almost 19% over 5 years but there has been only a 2.9% increase in new ambulances and 3.4% increase in new full-time equivalent paramedics.”

“EMS is struggling to meet day-to-day demands of Albertans and the situation is escalating.”

“The opioid crisis is only making the crisis worse and lives are at stake.”

“When ambulances cannot reach patients in a timely fashion the safety of those patients is put at risk.”

Liberal Leader David Khan says, “There are more than 63,000 extra EMS calls over the past 5 years and EMS is stretched to the limits to handle the needs of over 500,000 new Albertans.”

“The NDP Government must not only provide additional resources but improve the efficiency of the system with paramedics spending 650,000 hours per year in ER awaiting patient transfers to nursing staff.”

David Swann is available for interviews at 1:15 pm on the “INS” at the Alberta Legislature. He is also available by phone or Skype.

David Khan is available for interview by phone or Skype.

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For more information, contact:

Keegan Wynychuk
Alberta Liberal Opposition
Tel: 780.644.7719
Cell: 780.919.3158
liberal.communications@assembly.ab.ca


Calgary Herald: NDP ‘will engage with Albertans’ to decide marijuana minimum age: Notley

With cannabis legalization coming down the pipe in 2017, Premier Rachel Notley said input from Albertans will help set the minimum age to purchase marijuana…

… The report said that cannabis use during adolescence may be associated with effects on brain development. Alberta Liberal leader Dr. David Swann said the marijuana minimum age should be 21 years old, citing the same health concerns as basis for his recommendation. Read Full Article…


Edmonton Journal: Opposition parties spurn government’s child welfare panel

In a rare political move, Alberta’s opposition parties banded together Tuesday to boycott the government’s all-party ministerial panel investigating the child welfare system…

… On Tuesday following question period, McIver filed into a media conference alongside Wildrose Leader Brian Jean, interim Liberal Leader David Swann, Alberta Leader Greg Clark and Wildrose house leader Nathan Cooper to outline the framework they want to see before they take part in any all-party panel. Read Full Article…


Edmonton Journal: Federal government cracks down on illicit fentanyl shipments

The federal government is cracking down on illicit shipments of fentanyl and the equipment used to make pills and capsules, in a move lauded by the Alberta government on Monday.

… Interim Liberal Leader Dr. David Swann said the crisis is so bad that he has had people contact his office seeking medical help. He has taken up the cause in the legislature, demanding more information from the government and more frequent reporting on overdose deaths, emergency room visits, waiting times and the number of lives saved with the overdose-reversing drug Naloxone. He’s meeting with the government this week to encourage more transparency on the issue. Read Full Article…


Global News: Alberta appoints new chief medical examiner with extensive experience in forensic pathology

A forensic pathologist has been appointed Alberta’s new chief medical examiner.

… The appointment comes a day after interim Liberal leader David Swann called on the government to ramp up funding for the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office to provide more timely and effective reporting on the province’s rapidly expanding opioid crisis. Read Full Article…