A bill introduced Thursday by the United Conservative Party will aim to update health legislation in the province.
Bill 46, the Health Statutes Amendment Act, will rearrange some provincial designations in the name of improving patient care, according to Health Minister Tyler Shandro.
If passed, the bill would make a number of changes to the system, including further separating regulatory colleges from professional associations.
“It was important for us to make sure that professional associations and colleges serve different purposes,” Shandro told reporters. “One serves the interest of the public and one serves the interests of the profession.”
If the bill goes through the legislature, senior employees or senior officers of a professional association will be restricted from being on a board of a college.
The new legislation would also regulate health care aides. That would, in theory, force the aides to adhere to the same standards as other health professionals in the province. Shandro said making that distinction will only improve the quality of care Albertans receive. He referred to the change as an “evolution of the profession.”
Bill 46 would also establish a centralized online registry that will aim to help Albertans find a health provider.
If passed, the legislation will repeal the Hospitals Act and move all applicable parts of the act into the Health Facilities Act.
Several trade unions, hospital workers and everyday Albertans staged rallies Thursday protesting against what they call "dangerous cuts" to the health-care system, including three separate events in Calgary.