Alberta Health Services is focused on delivering quality care to patients. We are also working to manage our spending and ensure that we are being as efficient as possible.
We need to be clear -- there have not been and there will be no employment losses of unionized employees as a result of ongoing initiatives to slow our expense growth. AHS has made that commitment to all union partners. Any changes are being made through attrition and redeployment.
In fact, AHS is continuing to grow its workforce to meet increasing demands across the province.
Because of collective agreements, layoff notices are required to redeploy unionized staff. Staff members who receive a layoff notice are told at the time of receipt that there are other options for them for employment, and that no one will be forced to involuntarily leave AHS. That is firm and has been shared with all our union partners.
Multiple initiatives are now underway, designed to achieve clinical and operational efficiencies and cost savings, while continuing to maintain or improve the quality and safety of care for our patients.
There have recently been meetings focused on an initiative called operational best practice. Operational best practice involves benchmarking AHS with comparable counterparts in health care service delivery both inside and outside Alberta. This is normal business practice.
Where AHS compares favourably, we will continue to strive to be the best we can be. But where AHS can do better, we will make necessary changes to improve how we practice while reducing costs.
Operational best practice is one of the best ways for AHS to become more efficient, with comparative data informing AHS of its progress while maintaining or improving care.
At times, programs may revise staffing models and mixes to meet the needs of the organization. The goal is to use our resources as efficiently as possible while maintaining a focus on quality care.
AHS is focused on retaining front line staff, and ensuring quality care is available for all Albertans. That commitment will not waver.