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Province moves ahead to create mental health and addiction organization

Friends of Medicare worries about AHS restructuring
FILE - Mental Health and Addiction Minister Dan Williams says the province is proud to establish Recovery Alberta and CoRE as part of the Alberta Recovery Model. (Photo from the Government of Alberta)

The province is creating two new organizations to oversee mental health and addiction care.

The new mental health and addiction organization, Recovery Alberta, will be responsible for the delivery of mental health and addiction services currently delivered by Alberta Health Services (AHS).

The Canadian Centre of Recovery Excellence (CoRE) will also be established to support the government in building recovery-oriented systems of care by researching best practices, analyzing data and making evidence-based recommendations.

“The establishment of these two new organizations will support the delivery of recovery-oriented services to Albertans and will further cement Alberta as a leader in the field,” said Mental Health and Addiction Minister Dan Williams, in a statement.

In November 2023, the government announced it would be refocusing health care with the creation of four new organizations responsible for the oversight and delivery of health care services: acute care, continuing care, primary care, and mental health and addiction.

The mental health and addiction organization will be the first to be established later this year.


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Last August, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addiction began the process of consolidating the delivery of mental health and addiction services within AHS. That process was completed in November.

Recovery Alberta will report to the ministry and should be operational this summer with an annual budget of $1.13 billion.

The current provincial leadership team for Addiction and Mental Health and Correctional Health Services within AHS will lead Recovery Alberta.

The province says there will be no changes to terms and conditions of employment for AHS addiction and mental health staff transitioning to Recovery Alberta. There will also be no changes to grants or contracts for service providers currently under agreement with AHS.


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Friends of Medicare says it remains extremely concerned about the ongoing restructuring of AHS which aims to further silo the public health care system into separate entities without addressing the major challenges it currently faces.

“We need to be laser-focused right now on recruiting and retaining health care workers to fix Alberta’s chronic short staffing crisis, but instead this government is ignoring the workforce and continuing to sow chaos in our already-struggling health care system,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare.

The group is also concerned that the move will only continue to siphon public health care dollars to under regulated for-profit providers, and proliferate health care privatization.

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