COVID-19 Updates: State of public health emergency declared.
There will be no job losses for nurses or for other front-line clinical staff. Any reduction in full-time equivalent positions will be in keeping with proactive disclosures announced in the fall of 2019.
A minimum of 100 management positions will be eliminated and a full review of senior AHS executives will be completed before the end of the fiscal year.
Alberta’s government has directed that only a portion of the actions identified in the implementation plan proceed, changes that are expected to yield up to $600 million in annual savings.
“The pandemic has changed everything. As a result, AHS has been directed to proceed carefully, putting patient care above all else. As a first step, AHS has been directed to eliminate a minimum of 100 management positions and to proceed with previously announced contracting work. This approach will allow us to strike the right balance between supporting the COVID-19 response and Alberta’s challenging fiscal situation.”
Plans to contract out laundry services and community lab services, both announced in 2019, will continue. Requests for proposals (RFPs) for these services will be issued before the end of the year. About 70 per cent of community lab services is currently provided by the private sector, while about 68 per cent of health-care laundry is already cleaned by the private sector.
AHS has been given the go ahead to proceed with developing business cases for both environmental and food preparation services in 2022 and 2023. Both business cases will be subject to review and approval by the Government of Alberta.
AHS will also streamline non-clinical and back office operations, including optimizing distribution and inventory management and strengthening staff scheduling and overtime management systems. Job losses will be minimized in these areas.
“Alberta’s response to the pandemic has been the primary focus of the entire health-care system over the past seven months. The care and well-being of Albertans will always be our first priority. We remain fully committed to continuing to improve the financial sustainability of the organization, and will implement some of the review recommendations in a strategic and paced approach that ensures front-line health-care workers and Albertans are supported throughout the pandemic.”
- Initiatives stemming from the review’s recommendations that are already underway include:
- Moving forward with virtual care options.
- Consolidating regional dispatch operations.
- An AHS performance review was announced on May 30, 2019. It was the first review of its kind since AHS was formed in 2009.
- Results of the review were announced on Feb. 3, 2020.
- There were 57 recommendations and 72 savings opportunities identified to improve the quality and long-term sustainability of health services.
- AHS was asked to develop a 30-day plan for initiatives that could start immediately, as well as a long-term implementation plan.