Alberta Health Care CEO looks at early retirement Staff Reduction
The Province of Alberta is now predicting a larger deficit than previously. This is mainly due to low energy prices, increased unemployment. Alberta has to dig into its Heritage Fund to avoid debt. Approximately two years ago the Alberta Government celebrated the fact that it was the only jurisdiction in Canada without debt.
The climate has definitely changed. The Health Budget now estimates a $1.1 Billion deficit. The head of Alberta Health Services (AHS) and CEO is mandated to cut costs. He is now advocating job cuts and in order to avoid massive layoffs he is looking at offering early retirement. Just as an aside, Mr. Ducket has a salary of $500,000.
According to Duckett 65 to 70% of each health dollar is gobbled up by human resources. In his first phase of cost cutting Duckett wants to save $650 million.
Critics of this plan wonder how this will affect health care services in Alberta.
Dr. Stephen Duckett, Alberta Health Services president (AHS) and CEO, says a plan is in the works to introduce a voluntary early retirement program for health care staff to help cut costs.
And while the details have yet to be outlined, Duckett said the retirement plan will be open to all managers and staff. AHS feels cutting staffing levels will have a significant impact on saving some cash.
"65 to 70 per cent of our budget is related to human resources and we recognize the need to take a close look at the size of our workforce and where and how our staff can have the greatest impact," said Duckett.
Alberta is now trying to save an extra three per cent from its $10.9 billion health budget.
During the first phase of cost cutting, AHS needs to save $650 million.