EDMONTON, AB (May 30, 2013): While the Alberta Health Services (AHS) bureaucracy remains as bloated as ever, and wait times continue to lag across the province, the health superboard is now rationing front-line services that directly impact patient care across Alberta, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
The AHS three year business plan announced yesterday includes bed closures in communities across Alberta along with fewer surgeries, all in an effort to find $220 million in savings. “The fact that AHS and this government have decided to ration patient care instead of looking at their own waste to find savings shows just out of touch they are with the priorities of Albertans,” Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith said. “We’re talking about an organization that blew through $100 million dollars in expenses in 17 months alone, and has an executive that is fresh off receiving $2.4 million in bonuses after failing to meet key wait time targets, yet this government believes closing operating rooms and acute care beds is the solution.” The Wildrose Financial Recovery Plan calls for AHS to find savings by increasing the worker to manager ratio from 5:1 to 10:1, cutting AHS travel and hosting expenses in half and reducing the total amount spent on executive pay by 20 per cent. Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said that the business plan, which fails to outline any performance targets, is another move by AHS to centralize services away from local communities. “Barely half of Albertans are being admitted into emergency rooms within AHS’ eight hour wait-time target, communities are struggling to receive services, yet AHS inexplicably seems to think we have too much capacity in our system,” Forsyth said. “Instead of fixing health care and targeting real waste in our system, it is extremely disappointing to see a business plan that seeks savings off the backs of patients and the front-line workers who hold our health care system together.”