400 Alberta Health employees interested in early retirement offer

CALGARY — About 400 health-care workers have expressed interest in a voluntary retirement offer meant to cut the Alberta medical system’s $1.2 billion deficit.

CALGARY — About 400 health-care workers have expressed interest in a voluntary retirement offer meant to cut the Alberta medical system’s $1.2 billion deficit.

Liberal health critic Kevin Taft says that reflects the dismal morale in a mismanaged system.

He says the attractiveness of early retirement is a symptom of a revolving door among deputy health ministers, the elimination of health regions and the fallout of staff cuts back in the 1990s.

Alberta Health Services spokesman Mark Kastner says the number has to be placed in the perspective of an organization that employs 90,000 people.

He says people are always interested in exploring other options if they’re close to retirement.

Terms of the voluntary packages won’t be available until next week.

Kastner says it’s too early to tell how many retirements are expected, how much they’ll cost or what they’ll save.

“One thing for certain is that it’s still cheaper to offer voluntary severance than involuntary severance,” said Kastner.

While Taft expressed concerns over the impact the downsizing would have on patient care, AHS officials say they’ll avoid targeting clinical areas.

“It’s important to keep in mind accessibility, quality and sustainability,” said Kastner.

Another avenue being considered, he said, is to slow down infrastructure construction.

Taft said he fears the retirements won’t be offset by recruiting.

“The only thing they could do worse than this is not hiring young staff,” he said.

Just Posted

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

Red Deer officials will allow Calgary to trial alcohol in parks

The result could determine if local rules are relaxed

Red Deer city council could provide more clarity around closed-door meetings, says review

Confidential matters were found to be handled appropriately by city

Special lift improves Lacombe patients’ therapy

A new mobility lift is helping physical therapy patients at Lacombe Hospital… Continue reading

Red Deer group is pushing to create a local ‘international village’ to promote unity

A city made up of immigrants has no place for intolerance, say group members

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Most Read