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CUPE Alberta has called on Premier Klein to tell the truth about Tory support for private hospital expansion in Alberta. The Division says it would be easy for Klein to end the public’s growing concern about private hospitals in the province. He could simply ban clinics like HRG from doing the work of public hospitals.

“All it would take is legislation that requires all surgery needing overnight care to be done in public hospitals,” said Terry Mutton, president of CUPE Alberta. “It’s that simple. One really has to wonder why he has insisted on giving the Minister of Health discretionary power over their establishment in Alberta.”

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta delayed a decision October 1 that would have allowed overnight stays at a private clinic operated by HRG in Calgary. CUPE has been vocal in its opposition to this move and has called upon the government to put a stop to private hospitals.

“Everyone in this province knows that approving HRG to do surgery that requires overnight stays will make it a hospital,” said Mutton. “The College should butt out of this matter before the public health care system is put in jeopardy.”

Starting an American-style, public-private system in Alberta would raise the cost of health care and set a dangerous precedent for the rest of the country.

Americans pay 85% more than Canadians for health care and an increasing number of Americans 003400350020million this year 006800610076e no health insurance.

“And do you know why the costs are higher in the US?” asked Mutton. “The reason is the cost of duplicate administration and profits.”

“A public system largely eliminates these costs,” said Mutton. “Either Klein is for private hospitals or he’s not. It’s time he came clean on this issue.”