Friday, June 19, 2009

Think-tank raps Alberta on hospital data.

Interesting that the right-wing Fraser Institute gets to make these report cards. Even so, the Institute makes a reasonable criticism of Alberta for not naming hospitals. So much for the right to know. Apparently knowing which hospitals have good records and which have bad would be bad for health care in Alberta. What is bad for health care in Alberta is their Super Board with its super centralisation of power and super secrecy.

Think-tank raps Alberta on hospital data
Last Updated: Thursday, June 18, 2009 CBC News
A conservative think-tank is criticizing the Alberta government for not providing enough information about hospitals in the province.
In compiling a report card on Alberta's acute care hospitals, the Fraser Institute looked at more than one million patient records. It studied patient care statistics, including such things as the number of deaths among patients who developed complications while in the hospital.
The institute's report card — released Thursday — indicates that one Alberta hospital has an injury rate for newborns that's more than four times the provincial average.
But a Fraser Institute spokesperson said Albertans will never know which hospital — or how hospitals compare with each other — because the province would not provide the names of the hospitals, only the statistics.
"Wouldn't it benefit patients and care providers to know where these events are occurring so we can improve the quality of care for Albertans?" asked Nadeem Esmail.
Accusations of irresponsibility
This is the first time the institute has compiled a hospital report card for Alberta, but it has done similar studies in Ontario and British Columbia.
The Fraser Institute said the B.C. government provided hospital names for this year's report card and by not doing so, the Alberta government is refusing to commit to accountability.
When asked about the report on Thursday, Alberta Health Minister Ron Liepert said : "Alberta Health Services has been charged with the delivery of health care, and if they feel for whatever reason that it's inappropriate to do so, then you're going to have to ask them."
Dr. Stephen Duckett, president of Alberta Health Services, has said that naming hospitals is not in the interest of improving health services.
In a letter to the Fraser Institute in May, he pointed out the information used by the study was dated and could cause patients to make unfounded judgments about the health-care system

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