Changes to AHS could save $2-billion per year
February 19, 2020
EDMONTON, AB – A benchmark review of healthcare delivery in Alberta says the province needs to get better value for the money it spends.
The report by Ernst & Young urges the province to make 57 changes to Alberta Health Services (AHS) that could save almost $2 billion a year.
“We were pleased to work with Ernst & Young (EY) throughout the review process and we’re ready to move forward as we continue to innovate and build a financially sustainable health system that is available for all Albertans when they need care,” said Dr. Verna Yiu (pictured), AHS president and CEO.
The report says Alberta spends 43 per cent more of its budget on health per capita than almost all other provinces but with outcomes that put the province in the middle of the pack.
The four main areas that were identified for improvement include AHS workforce and management, clinical and clinical support services, non-clinical (corporate) services, and overall health system governance.
It recommends the government change work and pay rules for nurses and doctors, and consider outsourcing food, laundry, and other support services to the private sector.
The report also says that money could be saved by having private clinics perform more routine surgeries paid for by public healthcare.
AHS is fully considering all of the report’s recommendations except for two. They will not propose the closure of hospitals nor the merger of trauma centres in Edmonton.
As part of the review process, more than 30,000 physicians and AHS employees participated in an online survey. 90% agreed that protecting and strengthening the sustainability of Alberta’s health system should be a top priority.
Officials with AHS claim that the organization has found nearly $1-billion in efficiencies over the last decade already.
“AHS takes its responsibilities as fiscal stewards of taxpayer dollars seriously. We have already made a lot of progress and this report provides further opportunity to continue to evolve,” said David Weyant, AHS board chair.
The review was ordered by Health Minister Tyler Shandro. Alberta Health Services has three months to draw up a plan to bring in the recommendations.