Does it make sense to you to ask a doctor for financial advice? Me neither. Maybe that’s because I’m a finance guy. So why are we asking bureaucrats for health care advice when the people on the front lines are in it every single day?

Simply put, our addiction to bureaucracy and top-down management, not to mention treating health care as a political football, is straining our health care system. Wait times are longer. Specialists are more difficult to get into. Family doctors are hard to find. Emergency departments are crowded. And everyone is still sending faxes for fear of litigation. It’s insane.

We don’t need to centralize then decentralize then enhance and withdraw funding or tinker with people’s lives any more.

We need to listen to the people in the system and ask them how to fix it. Streamline systems, eliminate redundancies, improve quality of care, get more for our health care money – this is all possible if we just start collaborating with the experts and stop with the ivory tower nonsense.

Health care is the single biggest line item in the provincial budget. Isn’t it about time we got serious about how we spend that money and listened to the people who know?

I’m with front-line workers, technicians, clinicians, doctors and nurses when I say I will battle to make health care in Alberta more efficient, accessible, affordable, and universal.