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Apr 21

Election update 2: Meeting my WR candidate

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I was able to meet with my local Wildrose candidate on Friday, April 20th, and spent about 30 minutes with him discussing topics of concern to this Registered Nurse.

I asked him about the implications of his party’s stand on dismantling Alberta Health Services, and what he thought that might accomplish. He admitted that he had heard from many RNs and other health care workers that the system could not support a move that would create even greater instability in the system. Therefore, his party proposes doing this slowly, and with the guidance and input of all stakeholders. Seems reasonable enough, although I find myself wondering how those in AHS must be feeling right now as this election unfolds: a little trepidacious I might assume.

I commented on the decimation of nursing leadership in the system, a matter of great concern to me. At this point we had a great discussion–he asked me what nursing leadership would bring that is now missing from the system. I responded that we now have a system that has been “blown up”, and leadership that is now focused on the different fragments–acute care, long term care, community care, and the new fair-haired child, primary care. What nursing leadership brings, I explained, is focus on the connections in the system, the “seams” where many people fall off the radar. RNs and NPs, I explain, are the “glue” in the system, and their care is the care that forges bridges between primary care and community care, between supportive living/long term care and primary care, between home care and acute care–I argue that if we spent as much time, and as many resources on the seams of the system, we would be in a much better place in Alberta.

We spent quite some time discussing the wrong-headed and expensive systems we have in place that require seniors in residential care environments to be transported to emergency via ambulance for concerns that could easily be dealt with by an RN working to full scope or an NP, and a responsive primary care system. I told him of the hopeful progress in places like Brooks where an NP is working hard in partnership with local primary care physicians to bring such care to the long term care and assisted living environments in that community.

Lastly, I told him that their party’s position on private, independent options for health care struck a negative note with me, and with many RNs. This answer was interesting. His response was honest, and informative. He responded:  “What can I say? That’s our position.”

All in all, a very informative discussion. I keep trying to connect with my Liberal candidate, and so far no luck–a bit of phone tag has taken place, but that’s about it (and it’s not all his fault, the day he could meet me I was the one out of town). But, I will keep trying, and if I am successful, I will post here.  Just in case this is my last election post, remember: VOTE on April 23rd!!!!



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