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Health investments deliver on Albertans' priorities

Prescription renewals by pharmacists, enhanced home care services for seniors and expanded addiction and mental health services are just some of the benefits for Albertans in the 2012-13 Health and Wellness budget.

“This budget reflects our government’s commitment to making fundamental services in our health system work better. Strategic investments in primary health care, continuing care and mental health will help drive us toward our goal of a community-based care team to serve every Albertan,” said Fred Horne, Minister of Health and Wellness. “We are not reorganizing the system or introducing a new plan. We are focusing on services that meet local community needs, promote wellness, and support Albertans in the choices they make for themselves and their families as we all strive to achieve better health. That is what we’re delivering in Budget 2012.”

New initiatives in Budget 2012 will mean:

  • Albertans will receive greater access to primary health care ($75 million) and addiction and mental health programs and services ($25 million) delivered through innovative approaches involving Primary Care Networks, Family Care Clinics, and more health care providers.  
  • Albertans will be able to go to their pharmacist for prescription renewals ($20 million) and continue relying on their rural pharmacy for the medications they need thanks to expanded support for rural and remote pharmacies ($5 million).
  • Seniors can stay in their own homes longer and avoid premature or unnecessary admissions to continuing care facilities and hospitals through enhanced home care and rehabilitation services ($25 million).
  • Seniors will receive subsidized chiropractic services effective July 1 ($7 million).

Other Health and Wellness operating spending in 2012-13 includes:

  • Physician compensation and development programs - $3.4 billion.
  • Drugs and supplemental health benefits for Albertans such as assistance for prescription drugs, ambulance services, cancer therapy drugs and specialized high cost drugs - $1 billion.
  • Health services including those provided by oral surgeons, optometrists and podiatrists, as well as vaccination programs, tissue and blood services and health services in correctional facilities - $740 million.

Total Health and Wellness spending is $16 billion, an increase of $1.2 billion or 7.9 per cent from last year. Alberta Health Services (AHS) will receive $10.2 billion in base operating funding for front-line health services, a $578 million or 6 per cent increase. An additional $267 million will be provided to AHS for operating costs at the South Health Campus in Calgary and the Edmonton Clinic South.

Additional details about proposed spending, including improvements Albertans can expect in each of the three priority areas, will be provided by the Minister over the next several weeks.

For more information on Budget 2012, please visit http://budget2012.alberta.ca

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Media inquiries may be directed to:

Andy Weiler
Communications
Alberta Health and Wellness
Cell: 780-719-9325