By Justin Seward
It was announced recently by the UCP government that Ernst and Young will be heading up an overall Alberta Health Services (AHS) review in the coming months
The AHS review will include an examination of the organization and structure, an evaluation to look for ways to improve efficiency while improving performance of programs and services and ways to make AHS more responsive.
A group of locals who have parents in the long-term care ward at the Bow Island Health Centre will be sending in their concerns as a part of the study and encourage locals to the same if they have had an experience with AHS that needs to be addressed.
“It’s just a case that if people have had problems with the system. A lot of us are old enough to know how it use to work before Alberta Health Services because it’s only 10 years old,” said Joan Babe, chairperson for the resident and family council at the Bow Island Health Centre.
“I don’t know what’s going on necessarily with some of the issues that have been raised and it seems like they revert.”
A major issue was the health centre’s front doors being locked at 5 p.m. and after a presentation to the Palliser Triangle Health Advisory committee, the problem was fixed but over the Canada Day long weekend the doors were locked at 5 p.m., she added.
Babe says she was able to inform some people to unlock the doors again.
Other issues include patients that require an I.V. antibiotic and they’re unavailable because of a shortage and have to take the pill form which is not effective because it goes through the stomach, Babe said.
“We’ve ended up having shortages,” she said.
“There’s been staff shortages which seems to be a chronic problem. To me Alberta Health Services is choosing to spend money in areas other then front line workers and supplies. That’s their choice. I think the review is really necessary in order for them to have a reality check.
“We need more front line workers, not pencil pushers is a way we all look at it.”
Health minister Tyler Shandro released a statement on Aug. 8 to have the public views heard.
“I encourage Albertans to visit Alberta Health Services’ review and provide their ideas on how AHS can reduce costs and improve health services,” said Shandro.
“On the web page, Albertans will find information about AHS, the purpose of the review and how they can give us their input. I look forward to their feedback and suggestions as we strive to strengthen the health system and deliver better access and better results overall.”
The public will have until Sept. 6 to submit their feedback to the health minister at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to
the Honourable Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health
423 Legislature Building
10800-97 Ave. Northwest