June 25th, 2024

Healthcare on the minds of residents and the NDP

By Lethbridge Herald on January 28, 2023.

Shannon Phillips – NDP MLA for Lethbridge West

The bustling holiday season is over and we’ve all had a few weeks of recalibrating to normal life again. School, work, volunteering, and more are back in full swing. For me, part of that means reaching out and listening to the concerns of my constituents. 

As my team and I have been knocking on doors, reaching people on phones, and running into folks in our community’s parks and public spaces, there is one topic that comes up more than any other: healthcare. 

Almost half of Lethbridge residents still do not have a family doctor. I’ve spoken with westsiders who have to travel as far as Cardston and Milk River to access basic care. 

I know folks who are being forced off needed medications because they no longer have a doctor to write prescriptions. A friend of mine in her early 30’s asked for a referral to a gynecologist and was told she would be lucky to see one before she was menopausal. 

This is unacceptable. 

To make matters worse, our premier has a long and documented history of advocating for private healthcare. 

Danielle Smith said we just need to “get used to paying out-of-pocket for more things.” She suggested that people could ask friends or family, or hold fundraisers to pay for medical procedures we can’t afford ourselves. 

However, even this horrible plan doesn’t address one of the core issues we’re facing.

The system has been deliberately underfunded for so long and healthcare workers have been targeted and demonized so often that they are simply leaving. Leaving our city, leaving the province, and leaving the profession. 

The steady erosion of our healthcare system under the UCP is paving the way to privatization. Their motto seems to be, “If it ain’t broke, try harder.” 

From tearing up doctors’ contracts to fighting with nurses and frontline healthcare heroes during the pandemic, they’re doing a pretty good job of wrecking the system.

Access to healthcare is a basic human right, and should not be dependent on someone’s ability to pay. This would disproportionately affect seniors and families, who would be forced to make difficult choices between paying for healthcare and covering other essential expenses. With inflation, soaring auto insurance prices, and devastating utilities costs, Albertans are already making too many of those impossible decisions. 

What would the NDP do differently? 

We will implement the largest healthcare worker recruitment plan Alberta has ever seen. We will support out-of-province professionals in their move to Alberta. 

The NDP will jumpstart initiatives for training new healthcare workers right here in Alberta and remove layers of red tape that prevent international graduates from practicing in our province. 

And, most importantly, we will rebuild and strengthen the damaged relationship Alberta’s government has with our valuable healthcare workers. 

It’s important to remember that this isn’t just about healthcare. It’s about stronger, happier, and more prosperous Albertans. This is about making sure that everyone has a fair chance to succeed in life, regardless of their income or background. When people have access to basic healthcare services, they are better able to work, raise families, and contribute to their communities. Everyone deserves to be taken care of when they’re sick. 

As your Lethbridge West MLA, I will continue to represent your interests in the legislature and advocate for a healthcare system that works for everyone, not just the wealthy. 

You can find us at 403-329-4644 or through email at lethbridge.west@assembly.ab.ca. I urge our community to stand with me in this fight. We can have a brighter future, but we have to work for it. We have to vote for it. 

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What will the NDP do ? Recruit more unionized labor voters , give everyone raises , throw vast amounts of money into the AHS pit….exactly what they did last time, what they have done in other provinces, what the Feds have done, what they encourage the UCP to do,,,and which has repeatedly been shown to do absolutely nothing to increasingly access to or the quality of health care.
Until the NDP stop drinking thier own Kool-aid and look to Europan nations that have a blend of public/private health care paid from the public pot rather than trying to scare people with the boggie man of ” US style health care ” [ which, if they looked, they would see is better than ours in some respects ] they wil remain irrelevant to the discussion.

The sooner Ms Phillips joins the ranks of the unemployed the better.

pursuit diver

Well said JustObserving! Although there were hundreds of private US hospitals which either closed or filed for bankruptcy due to COVID shutting down money making surgeries/procedures.
You forgot that they are pro SCS and will try to open another brick and mortar SCS as soon as they get in.
Their opposition minister of addictions says SCS’s work and science backs it up, but they fail to acknowledge that the biggest scientific evidence sits right next door in BC, after 20 years it has proven a complete failure.
The impacts to healtcare and EMS responses are very much impacted by the addiction issues.


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Dennis Bremner

Is this all you have Shannon? Why not just create a video of you saying the same thing every month and just have them post the link here?
If you have not noticed Shannon (and we have) Rome is burning and you are ignoring it. If you think that once the Downtown is destroyed by your NDP supporters that all will be well, you should give that a second thought!
You have your office in the Downtown as if you actually represent them, oh ya, you are supposed to represent them? Have you demanded a Impact Analysis on what this city is being forced to accept by the UCP? No, and its because you will do worse for our downtown! Do you know what’s going to happen to your constituents and just don’t give a crap anymore?
It has to be one or the other because we have not heard ONE PEEP from you about issues in Lethbridge, its all about trying to gain power and replace Notley for you, its never about Lethbridge.
PS- Have you heard the latest Shannon? There are Doctor shortages in every province in Canada and the opposition in every province is mimicking the same opposition, try at least to be original, as you continue to ignore issues in your own backyard, will you please

Last edited 1 year ago by Dennis Bremner

Strange how she stays off the addiction issues. Not really because I don’t believe that she has any solutions or new ideas to share. Any one can tell us what the problem this- any one that can see. Any one can come up with the idea to just throw money at it- any one.


Thank you for your comments