09/10/2013 04:07 EDT | Updated 09/10/2013 10:29 EDT

Alberta Health Services Restructure Sees AHS Go From Having 80 Senior Execs To 10 (UPDATE)


In what'll likely be a tough pill to swallow, Alberta's health minister unveiled a massive and drastic rebuild of Alberta Health Services that will see many senior execs lose their jobs.

The changes will see the provincial authority go from an organization that has swelled to house 80 senior execs - since 2008 , when the separate health regions were amalgamated under one umbrella - to leaner model with only 10.

The restructuring will include the firing of five top execs and the reassigning of 75 other senior executives to positions where they will support front-line staff in order to put more resources directly into patient care, rather than supporting a bloated bureaucracy, said health minister Fred Horne.

“One of the most important findings of this report is the need for a structure where patients and people are the top priority," said Horne.

"I agree with the Official Administrator, and want AHS to begin implementing this work immediately."

The review was launched after Horne fired the entire AHS board when he and the members disagreed on senior exec bonuses.

The true scale of the overhaul, which AHS is now officially undergoing, is well illustrated in this multi-page graphic, which shows the previous structural organization of the AHS, and this one-page image, which shows the new model to be followed.

The announcement comes in the heels of a report reviewing AHS' organization and structure issued by AHS Official Administrator Janet Davidson.

The report found the current organization too top heavy and outlined the need to refocus AHS' structure to better serve patients and allow for learning.

“While moving to a central health authority has brought with it many benefits, including approximately $700 million in cost savings and standardization of service, more work needs to be done in several areas including consultation and support for health care providers," Davidson said.

Wildrose Opposition Leader Danielle Smith criticized the move, saying the changes do little to improve patient outcomes or wait times.

“The changes announced today amount to little more than a few dozen of senior health executives getting new business cards,” said Smith.

"Until we finally realize that a centralized health superboard isn’t the answer, we won’t see meaningful improvements in patient care," she added.

According to a report by the CBC, the AHS has already suffered its first casualties in the reorg.

Five senior executives have already been dismissed, reports the CBC.

The five executives are: chief operating officer Chris Mazurkewich; chief medical officer David Megran; senior vice-president of communications Roman Cooney; senior vice-president of the Edmonton zone Mike Conroy and Barbara Pitts, the senior vice president of priorities and performance


With files from The Canadian Press

Also on HuffPost

Photo gallery Alberta's Health Care Woes. See Gallery