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Tory candidate Prentice says if premier, would move to decentralize health care

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EDMONTON - Alberta Tory leadership candidate Jim Prentice says if he becomes premier, he will move toward decentralizing the health system to deliver better care.

Prentice told an audience in Calgary that he will provide more support to local advisory health councils and make other changes to allow them to better serve the unique needs of their regions.

But Prentice says he won't abandon the current centralized Alberta Health Services superboard.

He says the system could not handle another such drastic overhaul.

Sandra Azocar, executive director of the Friends of Medicare, says Prentice's policies are short on detail.

She says he provided no specifics on what exactly he would do to improve health care, adding his policy is full of generalities.

Six years ago, the province collapsed the health regions and created the centralized model, saying it would streamline work, reduce costs, and improve medial care.

Instead, the AHS has experienced high turnover in the executive suite, administrative conflict and confusion, long wait lists for surgery, and some doctors being abused or threatened for speaking out.

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