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Alberta to dismantle current patient-care model, create new health delivery system

The Alberta government is announcing it will restructure the delivery of health care in the province, a realignment of services Premier Danielle Smith says will help solve capacity issues caused by a flawed system.

Responsibilities of Alberta Health Services to be diminished, premier announces

A woman speaks into a microphone at a podium bearing a sign that states Refocusing Alberta's Health Care System. Behind her are three men and one woman, along with a selection of Canada and Alberta flags.

The Alberta government will restructure the delivery of health care in the province in a sweeping overhaul that Premier Danielle Smith promises will help solve capacity issues caused by a flawed system.

The changes will dismantle the single service provider model and spread the responsibilities of Alberta's health provider, Alberta Health Services, among a handful of new organizations.

In a news conference Wednesday, Smith announced a myriad of structural changes that will alter how health services are delivered to Albertans.

Four new organizations will deliver health services in primary care, acute care, continuing care and mental health and addiction care.

Under the new structure, the primary focus of Alberta Health Services will be acute care and continuing care. Other AHS "delivery functions" will move to be accountable to the new organizations, the province said in a news release.

"Welcome to a new day for health care in Alberta," Smith said during Wednesday's news conference.

"Alberta's health system isn't working the way it should and the way Albertans deserve, and fixing it is critically important to improving Albertans' quality of life," she said.

"Improvements must begin with Alberta Health Services, the largest provincially integrated health system in the country. While all Albertans can and should be proud of our front-line professionals, the structure behind them is not setting them up for success."

Smith has criticized AHS as too top-down and monolithic in its decision-making. She has said previously that it failed to respond to rising hospitalization rates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, Smith fired the AHS board and replaced it with a single administrator.

Leaked cabinet briefing documents, released Tuesday, outlined how the province plans to orchestrate the sweeping overhaul of AHS. The documents suggest the changes will affect an estimated 250,000 workers.

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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