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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - November 14, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta ttTHBRIGDE HERAID Saturday, Novombsr 14, 1WO cost drop nperative By MAKGAHKT I.ITKIIUHST HvvaM SUlf Writer .Tamos Henderson, provincial health minister warned M) del- egates to (he Hospital Association eonventiHi in Leth- bridge Friday. health and ednral that unless m costs are controlled immedi aid y, the country will suffer economic disaster. Combined education and health costs in Alberta alone have doubled in the last five crease taxation to keep abreast of the costs can only reach a certain level before the econ- omy collapses." Mr. Henderson said one way to increase utilization of exist- ing facilities would be for hos- pital boards !o examine the idea ot getting doctors involved in hospital administration. "The policies in the past have precluded he said, "but medical people are the focal point of the whole system and boards arc missing out on a very esse n t i a i requirement when they don't enlist profes- sional representatives." "The outpatients' department of all hospitals are being over- Mr. Henderson said, "If all doctors are going to look to hospitals for their outpatient and inpatient services, the days of physician's private practice are numbered. Therefore the doctor must become involved in the econo- mics of hospital administration if he wishes to stay in the pri- vate enterprise system." Mr. Henderson said his de- partment was re-examining the provincial health care program in an attempt to make it more efficient while keeping the brakes on rising costs. Outlining changes In the pres- ent structure he said there was to bo an amalgamation of the health and social development departments. "When legis 1 a I i o n comes through with these departments under one umbrella, we should be able to do sway the overlapping which sometimes occurs in these sectors, and fill in She gaps which happen in the present system." "The hospital coraraiss ion will have a board of directors- three or four public servants in various roles, members from the public at large, and medi- cal men. "The minister cannot be in- volved in all requests wiach come to his desk. He needs a management component in hos- pital administration to deal with this; a noit political group who will remove such matters one step from tlte minister." "The commission will be al- located money by the govern- ment and will deal wilh all the decision making. This will mean the Alberta Hospital Act will have to be re-written to fit the needs of the new structure in terms of responsibility of the board, the administrators and medical staff. Mr. Henderson said the com- mission w o u 1 d have to meet early with local officials to dis- cuss better utilization of exist- ing facilities. Alberta has over 30 per cent more patient beds than any other province, but were not used efficiently. The commission will also be asked to examine the whole field of geriatric (for the aged) services to ascertain whether the nursing home programs in some areas, particularly rural, could be better served by inte- grating with existing hospital care services. WHO STOIE DA Skiers Alex Whitfisld, Ray Mercer and Ted Qawson pause at the top of a coulee bank, contemplating llieir future expectancies if they ski down the slope. The occasion is celebration of almost hav- ing completed their Canadian Ski Patrol System first aid course from St. John's Ambulance. The three will join the two-year-old southern Alberta patrol zone this winter, con- centrating mostly on the Wesi Castle Ski Resort. The patrol does search and rescue work, first aid and work on the slopes. The snow? Well, don't hold your breath, fellows. Some common, some little knoivn Ask Me By STEVE BAREHAM Hosm tok9 delegates i