Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Cam 'n Eggs: A chance to be a leader

 Rona Ambrose starts her new tenure as federal health minister today and Alberta politicians and bureaucrats should be watching her every move. Ambrose has the exciting opportunity of being a wonderful role model. The timing, for Alberta, could’t be be better. To say Alberta’s health system is on shaky ground right now is putting it mildly — and is in need of someone showing them the way. Ambrose can do that.

The Spruce Grove MP was a part of prime minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet shuffle Monday and was appointed health minister. The portfolio is, indeed, a challenging one given the aging population and making sure there are enough resources to go around without taking health services away from anyone. It requires a plan, but it also takes even more compassion. And that’s where the Alberta government and Alberta Health Services failed: the recent home care changes were done, by and large, without any consultation with users. That wasn’t fair.

Because Ambrose is from Alberta, she can have an impact — even though she has federal jurisdiction. Her initiatives  can be shared provincially. This is not to say, by any means, Ambrose is a shoe-in as someone who will go down in history as a champion for government run health care. But she has a chance. And on this Alberta morning, with a very fragile health system, perhaps that is reason enough to be optimistic.
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