Party Candidates will debate issue on April 10 in Edmonton
EDMONTON – A recent survey of 869 Albertans has revealed that 80 percent of respondents want the provincial government to invest in a new wellness foundation to help reduce the burden of chronic disease in Alberta. The online survey was conducted by Ipsos-Reid from March 5-12, 2012.
“Albertans are looking to the provincial government to invest more resources in wellness initiatives to keep people healthy” said Dr. Kim Raine from the Alberta Public Health Association. “Specifically, Albertans would support investing at least one percent of the total healthcare budget on the creation of a new wellness foundation. This foundation would help to curtail the chronic disease epidemic by helping more Albertans to lead healthier lives.”
The Alberta Policy Coalition for Chronic Disease Prevention (APCCP), a coalition of 15 prominent health organizations in Alberta, is calling on all political parties to take a new approach to sustaining our health care system – investing more in preventing diseases and keeping Albertans healthy.
On Tuesday April 10th the APCCP is hosting a public All-Party Forum on the Health of Albertans at the Edmonton Clinic Health Academy. The debate will provide Party representatives an opportunity to share their perspectives on something both the APCCP and Albertans see as being critical for our future – preventing disease and promoting wellness in Alberta.
“Chronic diseases like cardiovascular and lung disease, diabetes and cancer are the leading cause of death and disability in our province and yet, most of them are preventable. The negative impact of these diseases on the physical, mental and economic health of individuals, families, communities and Alberta’s productivity requires action. We hope to secure commitments from all of the political parties for a well-financed and sustainable wellness foundation.” said Angeline Webb from the Canadian Cancer Society, Alberta/NWT Division and member of the APCCP.
The APCCP says it’s time to do things differently in order to transform the health and quality of life of Albertans and reduce the substantial demands on our health care system. Despite evidence that investing in prevention is a good value for money – a one dollar investment can be expected to result in $4-5 cost savings to the health care system – the Government of Alberta only spends three percent of the total health budget on preventing disease and promoting health. The APCCP believes making new long-term and sustainable investments in a Wellness Foundation is the answer.
According to the survey results, Albertans also support dedicating revenue from taxes to fund a foundation in Alberta. “Albertans support the use of dedicated consumption taxes to create a new wellness foundation” said Dr. Raine. “The options include dedicated tax increases on tobacco, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages. Tax increases on these products will also help to reduce their consumption and will further contribute to disease prevention”.
- 80% of Albertans support investing an additional 1% of the health budget ($160 million annually) to create a wellness foundation.
- 78% support the creation of a wellness foundation that would be independent of the provincial healthcare delivery system to ensure the funding is protected over the long-term.
- 79% support increasing tobacco taxes to fund a wellness foundation.
- 68% support increasing alcohol taxes to fund a wellness foundation.
- 65% support taxing pop and other sugar-sweetened beverages to fund a wellness foundation.
The APCCP has also surveyed Party Leaders on this issue (full survey results are available at www.apccp.ca) and received a similar response. Three out of five Parties confirmed they would support the creation of a wellness foundation in Alberta.
CONTACT: To arrange an interview please contact Shandy Reed at 780-492-0493
Available APCCP spokespersons
Dr. Kim Raine, President – Alberta Public Health Association (APHA)
Angeline Webb, Canadian Cancer Society, AB/NWT Division
Kate Chidester, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Alberta, NWT & Nunavut
About the All-Party Forum on the Health of Albertans
Tuesday, April 10th
11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Room L 1-490, Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
Public event – all welcome
About the APCCP
The APCCP represents a broad range of practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and community organizations who have come together to coordinate efforts, generate evidence, and advocate for policy change to reduce chronic diseases in Alberta. For more information, visit the APCCP website: www.abpolicycoalitionforprevention.ca