David Shepherd Profile picture
MLA for Edmonton-City Centre • Official Opposition Critic for Health • Cyclist • Musician • Professional Communicator • Moderate Comic-Book Geek
5 Sep
Another devastating blow to rural access to health services thanks to the toxicity & uncertainty caused by @shandro & @jkenney.

5 of 8 doctors at Sundre's celebrated Moose & Squirrel Clinic gave notice yesterday they'll be leaving Alberta after April 2021. #ableg
.@VMWarrenMD & @RobWarrenMD founded M&S in 2013, recognized & celebrated as a leader in rural medicine. Over 7 yrs they recruited 6 more docs & inspired & trained dozens more to practice in rural areas.

Jason Kenney & UCP are destroying that work

rhpap.ca/news-events/ma… #ableg
Doctors leaving incl. Anthony Willmott @ItsDaniDiz1 @markdizzle @alanna_bowie & @CreweCarly - all recruited by the Warrens to serve Sundre & surrounding communities.

That's years of effort & investment in their community being intentionally wiped out by the UCP. #ableg
Read 22 tweets
30 Jul
As doctors across AB have responded to months of attacks from @shandro & UCP w/ notice of withdrawing from hospital service, he's tried to minimize concerns, claiming there'd be no loss of services as AHS would maintain full coverage.

Today those claims are proved hollow. #ableg
Despite being given 3 months notice from doctors in Pincher Creek, AHS was only able to cover two weeks of shifts at the local hospital w/ no guarantees for ER coverage, surgeries or obstetrics.

In other words, @shandro & AHS utterly failed to fill the gap. #ableg
Mayor Don Anderberg & Council reached out to their local doctors to ask them, for the sake of the community, to cover for the failure of @shandro & AHS by delaying their withdrawal of services for 90 days.

Out of compassion & concern for the community, the doctors agreed. #ableg
Read 10 tweets
21 Jul
After months of chaos, attacks & smear campaigns from Minister & his staff, AB doctors are voting on whether any trust is left. Can't really blame them.

@shandro's our 1st Min of Health to utterly (or perhaps intentionally) fail to negotiate an agreement w/ physicians. #ableg
This puts me in mind somewhat of Jeff Johnston's war with @albertateachers as he attempted to "transform" education in Alberta back in 2014.

It didn't end well for him. But the parallels are clear...

edmontonjournal.com/news/local-new… #ableg
Any of this sound familiar?

Re: Johnson's plans for wholesale transformation:

"What’s needed isn’t change for the sake of change, or change for the sake of advancing a certain fashionable...ideology.

We need a system based on proven best practices." #ableg
Read 8 tweets
18 Jul
A heartbreaking letter from a Chestermere family MD on why she's ending practice in AB:

"I can't in good conscience accept the changes the current AB gov't is enforcing [or] that patients I care deeply about will be denied healthcare in the future if this trend continues" #ableg
I moved from South Africa...where my freedom to practice
good medicine was untenable...a system of private healthcare that saw only the fortunate few able to access care...I never thought I would be seeing this disparity of
income-based healthcare pushed in this country." #ableg
"I have moved continents to be here. I was recruited to Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, but willingly came to Canada, the birthplace of Medicare, because I believed in a system of healthcare that serves everyone equally." #ableg
Read 8 tweets
25 Apr
"We may have caught gov't's attention but it appears they still aren't listening."

An apt summary of what I'm hearing from doctors re: @shandro's attempt to walk back some of the sweeping cuts he forced through on April 1.

Albertans & their doctors deserve better. #ableg
.@shandro's claim he's engaged in any level of meaningful consultation w/ @Albertadoctors or Alberta doctors or that he or his MLAs brought any of these 'solutions' to the table would be laughable if it wasn't such an outright lie. #ableg
.@shandro has demonstrated an total lack of leadership or integrity on this file. He blindly forged ahead with short-sighted policies despite warnings from multiple fronts & attacked & denigrated any who told him they'd do the very damage he attempted to undo today. #ableg
Read 8 tweets
16 Apr
Yesterday I was copied on a letter to @shandro from 12 palliative care doctors in the South AB Zone.

In it they state that due to the cuts he forced through on April 1, they "will not be able to continue to provide ongoing, high-quality palliative care to our community." #ableg
You can read the letter (or see my full video: facebook.com/dshepYEG/video…) to understand just how @shandro & the UCP's cuts of approx. 45% make it unaffordable for them to continue to provide 24/7 palliative care.

Yet UCP ran on investing *more* to support palliative care. #ableg
But the doctors are clear: it's not about $, but their community's access to care:

"We grieve for rural patients we won't be able to visit, for the days & nights that our zone may not have a palliative care physician on call & available to ease suffering of our patients" #ableg
Read 7 tweets
13 Mar
Thank you, Minister @shandro, for your update on this & reminder that 811 should only be called if you have symptoms or need to be tested.

Also good to hear about online assessment tool to come in 24 hours at albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page169… #ableg
However, I’m disappointed, Minister, that you refuse to acknowledge the stress of the uncertainty caused by your unilaterally imposed changes to physician compensation on doctors, in hospital & community, across AB at a time they need full support to be at their best. #ableg
This is particularly true for doctors working in hospital who literally *do not know* what they'll be paid starting April 1.

I've spoken with many doctors, nurse & other frontline workers over the last few days. They're watching & listening. They're determined but tired. #ableg
Read 5 tweets
4 Feb
Don nails it. In only 9 months, Jason Kenney & the UCP have already sown chaos across the healthcare system.

Now they propose "a recipe for radical change that/ll make the eruptions of the Ralph Klein era look narrow and limited.”

This poses real risks for patient care. #ableg
In word & action, Jason Kenney & the UCP have consistently operated in bad faith.

We have no reason to trust that one of our most important public services will be protected by a gov't that's repeatedly broken promises, abused facts & put it's own interest before ABn's. #ableg
We will not provide better patient care or build a more efficient system by attacking & devaluing the people who provide it or a blind fixation on making more room for American-style private profit in our public health care system. #ableg
Read 5 tweets
25 Jul 19
I see the UCP is testing new messaging to attempt to deflect attention from the cost of their short-sighted decision to halt ongoing construction of the Edm Clinical Lab Hub.

To be clear - this was about a carefully considered plan to improve patient care in Alberta. #ableg
Lab infrastructure serving #yeg & northern AB has long been in need of expansion & investment & is now nearing the edge of its capacity.

And it's not a question of simply buying some new equipment, though that's important. #ableg
Current labs lack the space & appropriate infrastructure (HVAC, IT, etc.) to house it. Staff are running between different floors & buildings to deliver samples.

I toured the labs at Grey Nuns & UofA recently, spoke w/ staff & saw it first-hand. Has the Minister? #ableg
Read 26 tweets
22 May 19
Something @jkenney has repeatedly failed to mention - rebates for lower-income families have increased their purchasing power as they generally have a smaller carbon footprint - taking transit & living in smaller homes. That income boost will now disappear. #ableg
As noted in @edmontonspc's Feb '17 Profile of Poverty in #yeg:

"[w/ rebates], most low income households will likely come out ahead from the carbon levy [as] people living in low income tend to live in smaller [homes], use transit, & drive less" livingwagecanada.ca/files/4515/009… #ableg
That's one of many steps our gov't took that helped to cut child poverty in half from 2015-17.

Much like the 33% cut in small biz tax & support for public transit/LRT & green rural infrastructure, I think that's a good use of funds collected from a price on pollution. #ableg
Read 6 tweets
17 May 19
Have to hand it to @ABDanielleSmith - she's packed an impressive amount of hyperbole, misinformation & dog-whistles into 714 words.

It's clear Premier Kenney's preparing for war against teachers, nurses & other public employees & calling in friends to soften them up 1st #ableg
Full disclosure - @JoelFrench, ED of @PIAlberta managed my 2015 campaign. I consider him a friend & we hang out sometimes. We inevitably talk politics & policy, agreeing on some things, disagreeing on others.

Joel's passionate about his values, but he's no ideologue. #ableg
Neither are the teachers, nurses, custodians, university staff & other public employees who step up for election as leaders in their unions. They take pride & passion in their work & their ability to provide for their families - just like workers in O&G & other fields. #ableg
Read 6 tweets
18 Jun 18
Today for Father's Day, I'd like to pay tribute to my father, Ruthven Shepherd, who passed away Thursday morning w/ all of us at his side: trinityfuneralhome.ca/ruthven-rulon-… #ableg
Dad grew up in Trinidad, 4th of 10. He loved electronics & working w/ his hands. He learned to build bread boxes out of coconut oil tins & sold them to get $2.50 to buy a do-it-yourself crystal radio kit. He stole a telephone handset to craft a speaker. #ableg
He went on to vocational school and took pleasure in learning various trades (woodworking, metalworking, electrical) alongside regular classes. He was in the top 10 students in every subject. Top student in some. #ableg
Read 25 tweets
2 Mar 18
Incredibly disappointed to hear such ignorant rhetoric from @jkenney on harm reduction & supervised consumption sites in #yql: lethbridgeherald.com/news/lethbridg… #ableg
As noted in the article, Kenney's comments run counter to #yql law enforcement, front line workers & local gov't, all of whom support the innovative, life-saving initiative. cbc.ca/news/canada/ca… #ableg
Before moving forward, the City of Lethbridge conducted research, visiting SCS sites in Europe. Sites in #yql will include addictions counselling, harm reduction supply distribution, nursing services. #ableg
Read 14 tweets