JointHealth™ express   May 10, 2023

On election day, make your voice count.

ACE is asking the major Alberta political parties for their position on arthritis prevention, treatment and care.

Arthritis affects more than 650,000 Alberta residents. It is the leading cause of disability in Alberta and a significant economic burden related to direct healthcare costs and indirect costs to the economy related to lost employment, sick leave, and absenteeism.

Health care delivery (46%) and cost of living issues (47%) are by far the two highest named issues by Alberta voters leading up to the May 29, 2023 provincial election. The way people living with arthritis access and receive healthcare varies significantly across Alberta. This is particularly pronounced outside of the Greater Calgary and Edmonton regions. This adversely affects Alberta voters living with inflammatory arthritis – like rheumatoid arthritis – who depend on getting a timely and accurate diagnosis, fast access to rheumatologists, and appropriate public reimbursement for needed disease-modifying medications.

The most important voices in health care discussions belongs to those most affected by health policy—the person living with chronic disease who can provide patient perspectives; yet too often, consumers' voices are not heard. That’s why it is important you make your voice heard in the upcoming Alberta provincial election on May 29, 2023.

To help you with your decision, Arthritis Consumer Experts sent an open letter and a survey to the major political parties and their candidates running in the Alberta election, asking them to share how their government can improve arthritis prevention, treatment, and care in Alberta.

The questionnaire asked the following questions:
  1. What will your government do to bring a high quality, accessible, standardized evidence-based model of arthritis care for all Alberta residents?
  2. What will your government do to ensure the continuation, improvement, and expansion of virtual care for all Alberta residents – both patients and health care professionals – and ensure access is equitable to all?
  3. Will your government introduce culturally appropriate, patient-centered policies, such as a patient care facilitator or “arthritis liaison,” to help Indigenous Peoples navigate the healthcare system and receive coordinated care within their community to manage their arthritis?
  4. Will your government take steps to ensure timely, specialized care for Alberta residents struggling with osteoarthritis, including joint replacement surgery wait times that are within medically recommended guidelines?
  5. What will your government do to improve access to early treatment and pain management for rural residents in Alberta living with osteoarthritis who are at risk for increased disease severity and reduced quality of life?
ACE will be collecting Party responses and posting them on ACE’s Alberta Election 2023 homepage as we receive them.

If you have comments, questions, or concerns about any of the answers provided, please take the time to contact the parties: Ways to vote
To make voting easier for all voters, Elections Alberta has provided several options, including voting on election day, advance poll and vote by mail.

What are the most important issues that will determine who you will vote for? Share your answer by contacting us.