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AHS employees getting first details of new structure in series of town hall meetings


The first town hall meetings were held by the province today, giving health care workers their first details of what the new structure could look like.

"One of the most critical components is having a seamless system - you can't get patients lost between cracks between these organizations," said AHS board chair Lyle Oberg during the first town hall Thursday morning.

The recently announced four-pronged approach to medical care in Alberta is meant to take the strain off the system.

The four core health care areas will be acute care, primary care, continuing care and mental health and addictions. AHS will remain responsible for providing acute care.

A statement from Health Minister Adriana LaGrange's office Thursday said in part:

"One of the guiding principles of the health care refocus is to prioritize healthcare workers well-being and listen to their expertise.  We want to partner with them, work with them, learn from them and support the valuable workforce through this transition."

Reaction to the plan has been mixed, in part because of the lack of details and the fact Alberta would be the only jurisdiction in Canada to take this approach.

"We're quite excited about what is going to happen as a result of the changes, specifically the reform ant work that's going to be done on primary care," said Susan Pendergast, president of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Alberta. "We've been advocating for quite a long time to allow nurse practitioners to support Albertans in accessing proximity care."

Alberta Medical Association president Dr. Paul Parks said he often sees the problems created by lack of communication and continuity of care within the system. He says more staff are needed fast.

"Words are only worth so much. Now we have to show some action now we have to actually really do some work together," he said of the province's plan. "Morale is really low. Fatigue is really high. And trust is almost zero."

"We need to do some real stuff like stabilize the system, stabilize primary care and acute care world, do some real action and then we'll see if this is going to work or not," Parks said. Top Stories

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