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Alberta announces new health delivery system, promises to try to protect jobs

EDMONTON — The Alberta government says protecting jobs will be a priority as it embarks on a massive restructuring of its health system.
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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith speaks to party faithful at the United Conservative Party annual general meeting in Calgary, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023. The Alberta government says protecting jobs will be a priority as it embarks on a massive restructuring of its health system. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

EDMONTON — The Alberta government says protecting jobs will be a priority as it embarks on a massive restructuring of its health system.

Premier Danielle Smith’s government is dismantling the provincial health provider and scattering its responsibilities among a slew of new organizations.

Leaked cabinet briefing documents say the changes will impact about 250,000 health workers.

Smith’s government is realigning the system to create four organizations to be in charge of different specialties, such as primary care and acute care.

All organizations answer to a board chaired by Health Minister Adriana LaGrange.

Smith has long campaigned on fixing Alberta Health Services, the provincial front-line health provider, and says it’s time for change.

“For too many years, Alberta’s health-care system has been too complex and unco-ordinated, leading to unacceptable wait times and poorer health outcomes for Albertans,” said Smith in a news release Wednesday as she announced the new health organization structure.

“It’s time to change that. It’s time to put Albertans first in every health-care decision and give our front-line experts the right space to properly care for Albertans.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 8, 2023.

The Canadian Press