Formal negotiations between Alberta Health Services and the United Nurses of Alberta will start in 2020. (Image from Alberta Health Services)

Decisions on Alberta Health Services staffing still pending

Health care system experiences 2.5 per cent annual increase in costs

Alberta Health Services says no final decisions have been made regarding staff cuts, as the provincial health system looks at reducing costs and improving performance.

Last week, it was revealed there are plans to eliminate 500 nursing positions over the next three years. Factoring in job sharing, it’s estimated about 750 nurses will lose their jobs.

A statement from AHS said potential initiatives in the collective bargaining process with nurses include alternative service delivery models, while keeping jobs in the Alberta economy.

“No final decisions have been made,” the statement said.

AHS said while its budget has remained stable, Alberta’s growing and aging population means the health-care system needs to be more efficient and focused.


Job loss possible for some Red Deer hospital nurses

Alberta aims to cut 500 nursing jobs over 3 years; union calls it ‘betrayal’

Alberta’s population grew 1.6 per cent between July 2018 and July 2019, and the system faces annual cost pressures of about 2.5 per cent.

“We have to do things differently in order to provide care to Albertans.”

AHS said it has worked over the past decade to find efficiencies across all areas of the organization, and was tied for the lowest administrative spending in Canada, at 3.3 per cent of total expenses, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

“More than half of AHS has gone through the operational best practice process, resulting in savings of $175 million by the end of the 2018-19 fiscal year.

“Additional efficiencies across the entire organization will be informed by the Ernst & Young review of AHS. This is all designed to maximize efficiency and provide sustainable quality care,” AHS said.

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