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‘This is not what we expect or Albertans deserve’: Alberta NDP takes issue with DynaLIFE wait times

Long wait times, and patients having to leave before being seen, are some of the claims that a recent DynaLIFE patient made in regards to the lab services company alongside the Alberta NDP.

Alberta’s NDP leader, Rachel Notley, and NDP Health Critic Dr. Luanne Mets, and new mother and medical student Mel Mok shared their concerns with the company to the press on July 28.

Mok explained how she showed up for her DynaLIFE appointment on time, but said she had to wait nearly two hours before being seen for her lab work. 

“In the end, I waited for more than two hours for the lab draw for which I had an appointment and paid $19 for parking. Meanwhile, the walkaway times were being quoted as more than four hours. But when I was seen around 2:30 p.m., there were still people waiting who had registered around nine.”

She said that she noticed that no patients were seen over the lunch hour, despite the waiting room being full.

Mok said that she overheard other patients calling the Tom Baker Cancer Center to cancel appointments, patients needing to leave for other obligations, patients not being able to afford the parking, and patients being hungry due to fasting for their appointments.

LWC reached out to DynaLIFE Medical Labs to confirm whether or not they’ve been experiencing increased wait times for patients, but did not receive a response. 

Government aware of patient concerns

Scott Johnston, press secretary for the Minister of Health, said in an email to LWC that the government is very aware of concerns associated with DynaLIFE. 

“The Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services are fully aware that DynaLIFE is not currently meeting a number of key performance indicators under their contract with AHS for the delivery of community lab services in a number of locations around the province,” said Johnston.

Johnston said that the concerns around Dynalife are not what they expect or what Albertans deserve, and that the Government of Alberta will have more to say soon.

Dr. Metz said that she hears from people every day about poor experiences at Alberta labs. 

“I’ve heard from people who have had to wait all day, sometimes with young kids in tow, waiting for that test because there were no spots for urgent tests,” she said.

Notley believes that these types of frustrations are what are pushing Albertans towards clinics that have begun adopting membership fees that offer preferential access to healthcare.

Notley, after a week of having already done so, again called on the UCP to take action against clinic membership fees and to ensure DynaLIFE is providing the services that they are contracted for. 

“Danielle Smith and Adriana LaGange need to stop clinics from charging membership fees, and they need to enforce the contract with DynaLIFE.”

“DynaLIFE is not holding up their end, Albertans are not getting what they paid for, and there must be consequences.”