For immediate release: July 3, 2013
Consolidated 2012-2013 Alberta Health Services Financial Statements quietly published on the Department of Health website confirm former AHS Board Chair Stephen Lockwood’s statement last month that the health care agency is running a $100-million surplus.
In fact, as page 118 of the Financial Statements document shows, in the year ended March 31, 2013, AHS posted a surplus of $106,391,000. This figure was audited by the Office of the Auditor General of Alberta.
“These figures confirming this significant surplus raise the question of why AHS continues to reduce professional nursing levels and health care services to Albertans as shown by the recent cuts to community care in Calgary and to medical and surgical units in Edmonton and Calgary,” said UNA President Heather Smith this afternoon.
Smith asked: “If they’re posting a surplus of this size, why are they continuing to cut services to some of the most vulnerable citizens of Alberta?”
“I am sure many Albertans with family members in care are also wondering why community and long-term care services to seniors are being impacted across the province as well,” she said.
Smith noted that as of today, AHS has never responded meaningfully to UNA’s request for clear information on the number of Registered Nurse positions the health care agency has eliminated or intends to eliminate over the next year.
“Nursing jobs are disappearing in Alberta, and AHS and the government have a responsibility to inform nurses and all citizens what their plans are and how they will impact Albertans,” Smith said.
Lockwood and the entire AHS Board were fired June 12 by Health Minister Fred Horne. They were replaced by an Official Administrator, Janet Davidson.