Minister's Advisory Committee on Health – 2009

MACH overview

Alberta's health system is currently governed by a complex web of legislation and regulation, some of which goes back to the early 1900s and 1960s. This legislative structure is outdated in parts and doesn't promote innovation or respond well to emerging health issues.

Alberta needs a legislative framework that will help the system put patients' needs first and focus on safety, quality of care and accountability. On September 1, 2009, Ron Liepert, Minister of Alberta Health and Wellness, appointed the Minister's Advisory Committee on Health to look at how to improve Alberta's legislation so that it better supports improvements to Alberta's publicly funded health care system.

The committee was mandated to inform and guide government on what legislative changes are needed to improve the performance of our publicly funded health care system.


In October 2009, the committee began asking for input from health stakeholders and Albertans on how provincial legislation should be updated to support new and better ways to deliver health care and ensure the system puts patients at the forefront. An online survey and stakeholder meetings were conducted until November 30.

On January 20, 2010, the final report was presented to the minister. The Minister’s Advisory Committee on Health recommended an Alberta Health Act be built around core principles and calling for a patient charter and stronger support for evidence-based decision making.

The Minister’s Advisory Committee recommended six principles to help guide Alberta’s health system:

  • Put people and families at the centre of their health care;
  • Be committed to quality and safety;
  • Ensure equitable access to timely and appropriate care;
  • Enable decision-making using the best available evidence;
  • Be focused on wellness and public health; and
  • Foster a culture of trust and respect.

Its other recommendations included: affirming the principles of the Canada Health Act in an Alberta Health Act; consolidating core legislation related to publicly funded health services in the new Act; establishing an arms-length entity to support evidence-based decision making; developing an Alberta patient charter, enabling ongoing citizen engagement and providing clear directions to align decisions across the health system with the principles and intent of an Alberta Health Act.

Committee members

  • Fred Horne, Co-chair
  • Deborah E. Prowse, Co-chair
  • Dr. Tom Feasby
  • Dr. John Cowell
  • Gordon Graydon
  • Dr. Earle Snider
  • Dan MacLennan
  • Dr. John Pasternak
  • Dr. Gary McPherson
  • Donald W. Johnson
  • Dr. Patricia Bayne
  • Mary-Anne Robinson
  • Merv Bashforth
  • Jennie Deneka
  • Tom Sampson
  • Dr. Kimberly Fraser

Planning for an Alberta Health Act

Read about the Alberta Health Act and the public consultation process