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Government & policy

Alberta to create citizen health councils

EDMONTON – Alberta announced that it will establish 12 Health Advisory Councils to provide public input on local health issues across the province. The 12 councils will replace 59 Community Health Councils which operated under the former health regions.

The new Health Advisory Councils will consist of 10 to 15 members, including a Chair and will each represent a different geographical area.

All Health Advisory Council members will be appointed by the Alberta Health Services Board. The mandate of the Councils is to provide feedback about what is working well in the healthcare system and areas in need of improvement. The Councils will engage residents and report on local perspectives of healthcare delivery in communities across the province.

“We value community input and are committed to engaging community members,” said Ken Hughes, Alberta Health Services Board Chair. “This feedback will assist in our future decision making as we work to provide quality services that best meet the needs of our communities.

“The collective efforts of the previous Community Health Councils are truly appreciated; both for advancing improvements in local health care delivery and for helping pave the way for the work the new Health Advisory Councils will undertake within the newly aligned health care system,” said Hughes.

Health and Wellness Minister Ron Liepert says the commitment of those who serve on Health Advisory Councils is commendable and that all Albertans will benefit from the community support for the health care system.

“Albertans are passionate about the delivery of health services in this province,” said Minister Liepert. “These councils strengthen opportunities to provide advice, share community feedback and recommend ways to address health care needs. I would encourage Albertans to come forward and get involved.”

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than 3.5 million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a quality, patient-focused health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

Posted July 30/09.