LETHBRIDGE, Alta. –
A newly-released video shows Lethbridge-East UCP candidate Nathan Neudorf saying Albertans should have to pay to visit the emergency room to avoid misuse, according to the NDP.
The video comes from the May 8th Lethbridge-East candidates forum.
In the video Neudorf says, “My wife is here tonight, she’s an ER nurse, and often she works triage at the front window of the ER, and sees an awful lot of unfortunate misuse and sometimes even abuse of the health care system.
“Thus answering the question,” he added, “Maybe if someone had to pay for that, they’d think twice about going to the emergency for something that’s not an emergency.”
The NDP shared the video to its social media platforms and Lethbridge-West NDP Candidate, Shannon Phillips, spoke with the media about it.
“We live in a community where thousands of people have lost access to their family doctor. They have no choice but to go to the emergency room for healthcare,” said Phillips.
Lethbridge-West NDP candidate Shannon Phillips said emergency rooms were overused because many people lack access to a family doctor
Neudorf fired back at the accusation he doesn’t support public healthcare with a statement that reads “I have always been a strong supporter of public health care. I voted for a budget that added an additional $1 billion to Alberta’s public health care system and my wife is a proud registered nurse.”
Neudorf believes the video release is to distract from the fact that his NDP opponent, Rob Miyashiro, left the May 8th forum early to attend a rally with Rachel Notley and for a tweet he shared comparing the UCP government to the current northern Alberta wildfires.
“NDP central campaign is falling back on fear-and-smear tactics to distract from their candidate’s missteps, but it won’t work,” Neudorf’s statement continued.
UCP leader, Danielle Smith, addressed Neudorf’s comments and reiterated that no one would have to pay for an ER visit under the UCP.
“Our caucus is clear, no one will pay out of pocket to visit a family doctor or for necessary hospital services. I know from time to time, people will throw ideas out there. And we’ll begin a conversation I of course, have done that through the course of my 27 years in public life, but you have to judge people based on what we do,” said Smith.
Phillips remains unconvinced, believing that Neudorf’s video and other’s like it from various members of the UCP show that the party should not be in charge of Alberta’s healthcare.
“Not too long ago the UCP candidate in Livingstone-Macleod said Albertans should take personal responsibility for having a heart attack. Danielle Smith herself has said cancer patients are at fault for getting cancer. And then there’s Nathan Neudorf now openly stating that you should pay to see a doctor,” Phillips said.
The Alberta general election is May 29th.