Province Removing Around 11,000 AHS Positions, Many Expected To Be Replaced With Contract Workers

The province is planning to remove around 11,000 positions within Alberta Health Services.

From mid-2019 to early 2020, a performance review was done on AHS with several recommendations being made to help the organization become more efficient, while also saving costs.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced on Tuesday they won’t follow through with all the recommendations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, they will be moving forward with these job cuts.

He says none of these positions will be frontline workers.

“Protecting Albertans from COVID-19 must come first. Let me be clear, through the course of the pandemic the healthcare system has added hundreds of new roles and positions which have been vital to our world-class response, this won’t change.”

Around 9,700 of the positions will be from laundry services, community lab services, food preparation services, and housekeeping services. The plan is not to get rid of the jobs, but rather contract them out.

“Contracting out these services allows AHS to get the best value from private partners and focus on patient care and meeting community healthcare needs,” added Shandro.

This is expected to happen over the next two to three years.

AHS will also eliminate, a minimum of, 100 management positions with a full review of senior executives scheduled to happen and finish before the end of the fiscal year.

Shandro adds these cuts, when fully implemented, are expected to save around $600 million annually.

“Given the circumstances that Alberta faces this approach strikes the right balance between the two unprecedented challenges we face as a province – on one hand, the response to the pandemic and on the other hand the fiscal reality we face as Albertans.”

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