July 18, 2019 3:09 pm
Updated: July 18, 2019 9:10 pm

Company awarded $2M contract to review Alberta Health Services

WATCH: The UCP government has hired a firm to look under the hood of Alberta Health Services with the goal of ensuring the system is running smoothly and efficiently. Tom Vernon reports.

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The Alberta government has selected a company to conduct a review of Alberta Health Services.

Ernst & Young LLP (EY) has been awarded a $2-million contract to examine AHS health operations and organizational efficiency. The work is part of a review to “drive greater efficiencies, examine administrative costs and improve access and service levels,” according to the province.

READ MORE: Alberta Health Services review aimed at finding savings, improving performance


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The review of Alberta’s health authority was one of the UCP’s campaign promises during the spring election.

“We promised Albertans a thorough review of AHS to strengthen the health system and deliver better results, and this is the next step in delivering on that promise,” Health Minister Tyler Shandro said in a media release Thursday.

“I’m confident EY will provide valuable recommendations to deliver better results for Albertans and find savings to reinvest in the health system.”

READ MORE: UCP Leader Jason Kenney wants to explore private health-care options

The province said it will consult with AHS staff, physicians and other key stakeholders through the review.

The review will include:

  • A comprehensive examination of AHS structure and organization
  • Evaluation of AHS programs, services and policies to identify potential areas to reduce costs and improve performance
  • Identification of opportunities to make AHS operations more responsive to the front lines and Albertans
  • Comparisons to other provinces and best practices

Shandro said the intent of the review is not to tear down the system, but to build on the good work already being done by AHS.

“Our concern really is making sure that we’re having taxpayer money — this publicly funded system — being spent in the most efficient way and making sure that we’re reinvesting in our front lines,” he said Thursday.

“This is not about blowing anything up, this is about building on the strength of our AHS employees. I have nothing but respect and admiration for everything that they do.”

The province put out a request for proposals earlier this year. Four proposals were received and reviewed by a team of senior government officials.

AHS has more than 102,000 employees and runs on a budget of $15.2 billion.

Shandro said an interim report is expected by Sept. 6 so the province can use it to prepare its budget.

EY’s final report is due back to the government by Dec. 31. Shandro said the final report will be released to the public, but did not provide an exact date for when that would happen.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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