Original Published October 30, 2022

Jeff Burgar

The headline read, “Alberta emergency rooms fully staffed and exceeding targets.”

Another read, “Alberta doctors fast and among best in world, all while costs kept in line.”

Yet another gushed, “Alberta rural areas say foreign tourists flocking to their towns to get medical care they can’t afford in their own country.”

Sorry. Not quite. We actually have story upon story about the ‘health care crisis’ across Canada. And yes, emergency rooms closing in Alberta, doctor and nurse shortages, staff burnouts, with no solutions in sight.

Last week, we heard one of 12 board members at the head of Alberta Health Services (AHS), quit. AHS is the government department managing hospitals, 125,000 staff and 10,000 physicians.

According to reports, Deborah Apps does not like new Alberta Premier Danielle Smith. In particular, Apps does not care for Smith’s desire to make the Alberta medical system do better.

My goodness! What a horrible loss this resignation will be! In fact, it is so devastating, Albertans can only hope more top brass will take the hint!

Please, shuffle off from your gold-plated jobs to your gold-plated pensions. We say ‘to your pensions’ because, judging from the capabilities and results demonstrated the past few years, none are worth functioning even as greeters at Walmart. Or sweeping the floor at Tim’s. Our apologies to such workers actually performing better than AHS leaders. But of course, the pensions will be oh-so generous and gold-plated.

So how do those left behind earn their handsome paycheques? Good question. To what standards do they measure themselves? Do they qualify for bonuses? Most importantly, how the hell did they ever, ever get to the top levels of a system that, to any unbiased observer, is a crushing failure?

Apps’ resignation letter offers a clue. She said despite many political and health care challenges during the pandemic, AHS delivered services “as well or better than” other health systems in Canada and globally.

How sweet! Every day, not every week or every month, but every day, news reports come of a Canadian health system falling apart. Given the years it took to get to this state of affairs, it must be said this is a failure of political leadership. It is also a complete failure of management within the system to tell Canadians the failures happening.

Instead, it’s “Yes, the house was burning down and we lost it. And we lost the cat and dog. But hey, we saved the doghouse. Most places in the world would do no better.”

And that, dear readers, is the sad excuse. The whole system is crashing. But Alberta isn’t crashing as much. When your attitude says to measure yourself against failures left and right, does that not set yourself up to failure?

School room behaviour. “Hey smartie. Don’t get such good marks. You make the rest of us look bad.”

Crap fellow workers? “Hey, new gal. Don’t work so hard. The company is losing money. None of us are getting raises.”

AHS? “We are doing as well or better.”
So stop criticizing!

Apps? Good riddance to you! Take more with you! Please!

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta
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