By The Canadian Press
EDMONTON — The Alberta government says it is cutting up to 11,000 jobs at Alberta Health Services to save money.
Health Minister Tyler Shandro made the announcement Tuesday at a news conference in Edmonton.
He said nurses and front-line workers will not lose their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some of the cuts will come from further contracting out of laundry and lab services, with possibly housekeeping and food services also being outsourced in the future, he said.
A minimum of 100 management position will also be eliminated and there will be a review of senior executives before the end of the fiscal year.
The government estimates move will save up to $600 million a year.
“Given the circumstances that Alberta faces, this approach strikes the right balance between the two unprecedented challenges we face as a province — on one hand the response to the pandemic, and on the other hand the fiscal responsibility we face as Albertans.”
Shandro said that every dollar saved will be reinvested in patient care to improve the health-care system for future generations.
Dr. Verna Yiu, president of AHS, said the pandemic is the single-greatest public health challenge the agency has ever faced.
“The pandemic is not over. It is far from over,” she told the news conference.
“We must also continue to evolve the health-care system so that it is financially stable now and into the future.”
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