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February 6, 2017

Timely release of Fentanyl statistics crucial to combat crisis: Wildrose

The NDP government must address serious shortfalls in data reporting related to the fentanyl crisis that has led to a data vacuum being created, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

In neighbouring British Columbia, the epicenter of the fentanyl crisis, a public health emergency has been called and basic numbers are released each month. To date, the NDP government has refused to implement a public health emergency, and has ignored repeated requests from public health officials and opposition parties to provide real-time data.

“The fentanyl crisis continues to claim hundreds of lives in our province, and we are not able to fully address the problem when data isn’t being released publicly,” Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said. “Numbers of overdose deaths in the last quarter of 2016 could allow public health officials to better target and allocate resources and potentially save lives.”

The last publicly released information shows that almost 200 Albertans’ deaths were related to fentanyl in the first nine months of 2016.

“Wildrose is urging this government to do the right thing, and work with the chief medical officer’s office to move to monthly reporting during this crisis,” Wildrose Shadow Health Minister Tany Yao said. “The NDP government needs to cooperate with our municipal, provincial and federal counterparts in providing information in order to understand and address this issue that is hitting Alberta hard.”