EDMONTON, AB (June 11, 2013): Wildrose Official Opposition Leader Danielle Smith released the following statement on the decision by AHS to award bonuses to its executives: “Health Minister Fred Horne has officially lost control of Alberta’s public health care system.
The decision by Alberta Health Services to ignore his weak directive to reconsider pay-at-risk for executives shows a fundamental failure of leadership and calls into question just who is calling the shots in the health care system. “Minister Horne now has two choices. He has to either direct AHS to rescind the pay-at-risk bonuses for 99 executives or he has to fire the board. “The bottom line is there is simply no way the unelected and unaccountable health superboard should be able to hold millions of tax dollars hostage by awarding undeserved bonuses to executives. It is equally unforgiveable that the PC government has created a situation in which the Health Minister’s authority can be completely disregarded. The system is broken and Albertans are paying the price. “Whether it’s been extravagant severances, out-of-control expense claims, or a bloated bureaucracy that sucks money away from the front lines, AHS has become the PC government’s most iconic example of waste and mismanagement. “We raised this issue with Minister Horne three months ago in question period and instead of taking action to address it, he has let the situation deteriorate to this. Meanwhile, we have seen devastating cuts to the front lines, facility closures across the province and an ongoing failure to meet performance measures. “We believe Albertans deserve better than this ongoing power struggle between AHS and the government. It’s time that the minister is held accountable for his inaction on this file to date. Simply put, patients deserve better than watching their tax dollars get funneled to AHS executives while they continue to face service cuts and longer wait times.”