Imagine Citizens Network would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Premier Smith and the United Conservative Party on their victory in our recent provincial election. We would like to congratulate Rachel Notley and the New Democratic Party for their successes as well as all candidates who stepped up in the election to serve Albertans.
The new government has a mandate to pursue, over the next four years, improvements that will move us toward the goals of a more prosperous, generous and equitable province. Both major parties campaigned to improve healthcare in many key areas, and Premier Smith talked about making Alberta’s healthcare system the best in the world. That is a goal that ICN is fully committed to working collaboratively to achieve.
In fact, as a pan-Alberta organization dedicated since 2015 to supporting citizens to have a greater and effective voice in healthcare decisions, ICN has been hard at work collaborating on a number of healthcare improvement initiatives, including the recent Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Healthcare System (MAPS) initiative. ICN has also been championing the implementation of a transparent online platform on which patients can share their specific lived experiences and on which the care providers involved can respond. Such a platform has proven to be a positive development in several other countries. This initiative was included as a recommended initiative for early implementation in the final MAPS report. We are currently building funding and support for this platform and hope to see it roll out within the next year.
The challenges we face in health are well known. The desire of Albertans to see problems in our healthcare system addressed was underscored by a recent Leger poll that found that healthcare is one of two top priorities on the minds of Albertans. The problems are persistent and well-documented. Since 2020, ICN has gathered input on what Albertans seek in their healthcare system. Briefly, the health outcomes that matter to Albertans include:
- a proactive system that helps people from needing care (e.g. prevention, wellness);
- quality of life (defined by each individual as meaningful to him/her);
- quality, safe, effective care that is individualized and delivered compassionately, person-centered care;
- equity regardless of what part of the province citizens live in or the challenges they face in their everyday lives; and
- a system that fosters co-design or and engages citizens in shaping the health ecosystem.
In fact, time and again, Albertans tell ICN they want a more effective collaborative approach to community-based health and wellness.
ICN has identified three main focal areas as a roadmap to an economically sustainable, vibrant, and responsive healthcare system, that it:
- becomes more citizen-led,
- focuses on community, and
- addresses the social determinants of health, because they are major contributors to healthcare sustainability, overall health and quality of life.
People living in Alberta need an informed, visible and respected role in processes that shape our individual and collective health and wellness.
Since its founding, ICN has worked hard to listen to citizens and to work collaboratively with healthcare providers, healthcare agencies and government to build a more effective system that provides citizens with the healthcare they have the right to expect.
We look forward to working with government, healthcare providers and citizens on this critical issue important to all citizens during the next four years.