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MLA engages with community on healthcare restructuring

UCP photo of MLA Petrovic

Nicholas L. M. Allen

Feb 14, 2024

MLA Chelsae Petrovic shed light on the healthcare engagement sessions conducted by the government of Alberta.

In a recent interview, MLA Chelsae Petrovic shed light on the healthcare engagement sessions conducted by the government of Alberta, focusing on the Crowsnest Pass and other regions. The discussions took place at various locations, including the Crowsnest Pass Golf Club on January 20.

Petrovic explained that these engagement sessions are part of the government’s broader initiative to restructure the healthcare system across the province. The aim is to gather insights from healthcare professionals and users about the strengths, inefficiencies, and potential unique solutions within the existing system.

Describing the Crowsnest Pass session, Petrovic detailed the well-organized format. Participants sat at tables with mediators facilitating discussions and guiding the conversation to cover various aspects of healthcare. This allowed for diverse perspectives and ideas to surface regarding the challenges faced by the community.

One of the prominent concerns highlighted during the session was the unique situation of Crowsnest Pass. Petrovic acknowledged the influx of people from British Columbia seeking healthcare services in the area. She emphasized the need to address issues such as staffing, retention, and the overall impact on this remote community.

When asked about the future impact of healthcare services, Petrovic, a former healthcare professional of 13 years, expressed optimism. She mentioned the government’s goal to minimize negative effects on frontline workers and users, focusing on positive outcomes from the restructuring.

Petrovic attributed the need for healthcare restructuring to a collective demand from Albertans. Acknowledging past issues with the healthcare system, she praised the Minister’s strategic plan for addressing these concerns. Petrovic highlighted the Minister’s thorough approach, considering input from frontline workers and everyday residents.

Regarding the model for change, Petrovic admitted she wasn’t aware of specific global models influencing Alberta’s decisions. However, she emphasized that the process wasn’t hasty, indicating the Minister’s intelligence and efficiency in devising a comprehensive plan.

Addressing residents’ concerns, Petrovic assured that even those unable to attend engagement sessions could voice their opinions through online surveys. She encouraged residents to reach out to her office for guidance on participating in the engagement process.

In a personal note, Petrovic underscored the importance of getting healthcare right. She shared her background as a healthcare provider and the experiences of her friends and family within the system. Petrovic emphasized the commitment to providing the service delivery model that Albertans need and deserve.

As for future engagements, Petrovic informed that she, along with parliamentary secretary Martin Long, has been touring hospitals in the region. She highlighted the significance of engaging with frontline workers to gain valuable insights. Petrovic expressed excitement about upcoming tours with Long, covering hospitals in Pincher Creek, Fort MacLeod, Claire Summit, and High River.

The interview concluded with Petrovic expressing her confidence in the positive impact of healthcare restructuring and her dedication to ensuring that the changes meet the needs of Albertans. 

The engagement sessions and ongoing tours reflect a commitment to involving the community in shaping the future of healthcare in the region.

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