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LETTER: Cutting primary care may lead to short-term savings, but at what long-term cost?

letter-sta

I am a nurse practitioner who lives and works in this community. Along with a majority of the physicians petitioning for health, I serve one of our most vulnerable populations. I could not do it without their support. I would like to respond to Dale Nally’s letter dated March 5, published in the Gazette.

I cannot speak for the AMA, nor can I speak to the discrepancies between projected compensation outcomes. I can, however, speak to Mr. Nally’s comment that health spending consumes considerable budget and is projected to grow. This is true and its cause is multifactorial, not the least of which is an aging population with complex care needs and multiple co-morbidities. Chronic disease, much of which can be impacted or limited by healthier lifestyle choices, is another large cost to the system.

Who can help mitigate these costs? Our family physicians, who need the time to counsel us to make healthy choices when we are well. And who need the time to put together the multiple pieces of the puzzle so that our seniors’ co-morbidities are ALL addressed and they don’t require more expensive emergency services for a comprehensive work up. Cutting primary care may lead to short-term savings, but at what long-term cost?

I support our physicians for my health, your health, and the health of the vulnerable population I serve.

Rebecca Colborne, St. Albert