Open main menu

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is the single health authority for the Canadian province of Alberta.

Alberta Health Services
Alberta Health Services Logo.svg
Health care overview
FormedApril 1, 2009; 10 years ago (2009-04-01)
Preceding agencies
  • Aspen Health Region
  • Calgary Health Region
JurisdictionGovernment of Alberta
HeadquartersEdmonton, Alberta
MottoHealthy Albertans. Healthy Communities. Together.
Employees109,000 (2017)[1]
Annual budget$21.4 billion (2017)[2]
Minister responsible
Parent departmentGovernment of Alberta
Parent Health careAlberta Health[3]
Websitealbertahealthservices.ca

Alberta Health Services delivers medical care on behalf of the Government of Alberta's Ministry of Health[4] through 400 facilities throughout the province, including hospitals, clinics, continuing care facilities, mental health facilities and community health sites, while providing a variety of programs and services.

AHS is the largest single health authority in Canada and is the largest employer in the province of Alberta as well as being the fifth largest single employer in Canada.

Alberta Health Services is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta.

HistoryEdit

Alberta Health Services was created as a "superboard"[5] announced May 2008 and was effective as of April 1, 2009.[6] This dissolved the following regional health authorities:

  • Aspen Health Region
  • Calgary Health Region
  • Capital Health Region
  • Chinook Health Region
  • David Thompson Health Region
  • East Central Health Region
  • Northern Lights Health Region
  • Palliser Health Region
  • Peace Country Health Region

as well as the following agencies:

  • Alberta Mental Health Board
  • Alberta Cancer Board
  • Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission[7][8]

Health services in Alberta have undergone several governance reorganization attempts in recent decades, with successively fewer separate public organizational entities.[9][10][11][12]

Mission and organizationEdit

Alberta Health Services has articulated three broad goals (access, quality and sustainability) which expand into eight 'areas of focus' (e.g. improving access, fit for the future, learning and improving) and 20 strategic priorities.[13]

Alberta Health Services has been organized so as to separate acute hospital facilities (with separate reporting lines for major tertiary, metropolitan and regional hospitals) from smaller hospitals and community services, the latter of which are organized into five zones (North, Edmonton, Central, Calgary and South). The Calgary Zone, for example, includes some sites and services formerly administered by the Calgary Health Region while other services have been reorganized on a provincial scale.[14]

Executive leadershipEdit

Edmonton-based Dr. Stephen Duckett[15] was the inaugural president and chief executive officer of Alberta Health Services, taking up the role on March 23, 2009. He was replaced on November 23, 2010 by Dr. Chris Eagle who resigned on October 17, 2013.[16] Vickie Kaminski was CEO from May 2014 until her[17] resignation in late 2015. Dr. Verna Yiu became the CEO on June 3, 2016 after serving as interim CEO following Ms. Kaminski's resignation.[18]

Board governanceEdit

The organization was initially overseen by a board of directors, followed by an official administrator, and most recently, again by a board of directors.

On June 12, 2013, Minister of Health Fred Horne fired the entire AHS Board over its refusal to cancel executive bonuses.[19] Three days later, Janet Davidson[20] was appointed the AHS official administrator by Minister Horne to act in place of its board of directors. On September 12, 2013, Dr. John W. F. Cowell replaced Davidson as the official administrator.[21] AHS has subsequently had Dr. Carl Amrhein and David Carpenter as official administrators.

The Alberta Health Services Board has been re-introduced, effective November 27, 2015 with Linda Hughes appointed as the board chair.[22]

EmployeesEdit

Alberta Health Services employs over 108,000 staff and more than 7,700 physicians,[23] including clinical, administrative and support personnel across the province. Staff belong to a variety of professional organizations and associations, including United Nurses of Alberta,[24] several locals of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees,[25] and the Health Sciences Association of Alberta.[26]

FacilitiesEdit

AHS maintains and runs a number of different types of facilities and services.[27] These include:

  • Cancer care
    • For the prevention, detection, treatment, education and care of cancer patients, as well as to facilitate research of cancer.
  • Continuing and long-term care
    • For the treatment of patients with complex health needs requiring 24-hour on-site services from registered nurses.
  • Emergency
    • For immediate care of patients with all types of conditions.
  • Hospitals
    • For medical, surgical, or psychiatric care of the sick and injured.
  • Labs
    • For the processing of medical samples and tests.
  • Mental health and addictions
    • For treatment and care of patients diagnosed with mental health or addiction issues.
  • Emergency medical services
    • AHS is directly responsible for both ground and air ambulance operations in the province, provided through a mix of both direct delivery and contracted providers.
  • Other
    • A wider array of miscellaneous health facilities include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, home care, hemodialysis and others, and also include Public Health Centres which provide services such as prenatal, postpartum, health promotion/disease and injury prevention, bereavement services, communicable disease and school health. They also fund affordable housing for seniors at facilities, such as Silvera for Seniors.
  • Urgent care
    • To treat patients with unexpected but not life-threatening issues requiring same day treatment.
  • X-ray and imaging clinics
    • For procedures such as MRIs, X-rays and other types of scans.

South ZoneEdit

The south zone includes major centres such as Lethbridge and Medicine Hat serving approximately 300,000 Albertans. A large network of hospitals is maintained in the outlying communities of Alberta. South Zone includes[28]

Calgary ZoneEdit

The Calgary Zone administrative offices are located in the Southland Park business complex. Calgary Zone comprises territory formerly administered by the former Calgary Health Region and includes five major acute care sites (hospitals) including Foothills Medical Centre, Peter Lougheed Centre, Rockyview General Hospital, South Health Campus, and Alberta Children's Hospital. Serving approximately 1,400,000 Albertans. A large network of hospitals are maintained in the outlying communities of Alberta. Calgary Zone includes[28]

Central ZoneEdit

The central zone includes major centres such as Red Deer. Serving approximately 450,000 Albertans. A large network of hospitals are maintained in the outlying communities of Alberta. Central Zone includes[28]

  • Castor - Our Lady of the Rosary Hospital (Castor)
  • Consort Hospital and Care Centre (Consort)
  • Coronation Hospital and Care Centre (Coronation)

Edmonton ZoneEdit

Serving approximately 1.3 million Albertans, the Edmonton Zone administrative offices are located in Seventh Street Plaza. The Edmonton Zone comprises territory formerly administered by the Capital Health Region and includes eight acute care sites (hospitals) in the metropolitan area, which include.[28]

North ZoneEdit

The north zone includes major centres such as Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray. Serving approximately 450,000 Albertans. A large network of hospitals are maintained in the outlying communities of Alberta. North Zone includes[28]

Rural ZoneEdit

A large network of hospitals are maintained in the outlying communities of Alberta. They include[28]

Emergency medical servicesEdit

 
EMS Tahoe

In addition to providing acute care, Alberta Health Services took over responsibility for all emergency medical services (EMS) from municipalities on April 1, 2009, making ground ambulances a responsibility of the provincial government.[29]

Provincial air ambulance transitioned to AHS in April 2010.[30] Also included in the provincial model of EMS are inter-facility hospital transfers, and EMS dispatch.

In 2013, EMS averaged about 370,000 ambulance responses annually,[31] with approximately 30% of these being patient transfers between health care facilities, and 70% being emergency responses.

EMS is provided through a hybrid of direct delivery and contracted services. In 2013 this hybrid consisted of 204 ground ambulance locations. Practitioners include approximately 3,000 paramedics, emergency medical technicians and emergency medical responders.

There are 550 ambulances throughout the province, including 278 owned and operated by AHS.

In addition to land-based ambulances, AHS contracts 12 fixed-wing aircraft to provide 24-hour air ambulance services throughout the province. 5,500 patients were transferred by fixed-wing aircraft via contracted air ambulance providers in Alberta in 2010.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Alberta Health Services 2016-17 Annual Report" (PDF). Alberta Health Services. Alberta Health Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  2. ^ "Health funding forecast: 2017 Q2 Update". Health Alberta. Government of Alberta. December 1, 2017. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  3. ^ "Alberta Health". Health Alberta. Government of Alberta. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  4. ^ "Alberta Health". Alberta Health. Government of Alberta. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  5. ^ Tories create health superboard. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 9, 2009. Retrieved June 12, 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Who We Are". Alberta Health Services. Alberta Health Services. Archived from the original on January 6, 2018. Retrieved January 6, 2018.
  7. ^ Liepert, R. (2009). Provincial health structure: Alberta Health Innovation Report Fall, pp. 12–13 also at http://www.healthinnovationforum.org/2009/nov/01/recent-changes-health-structures-alberta/ Archived January 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Philippon, D (2009). Health care system reorganization: expectations, approaches and impact Health Innovation Report Fall, pp. 44–49
  9. ^ Philippon, D. J. and S. A. Wasylyshyn (1996). Health-care reform in Alberta. Canadian Public Administration 39(1): 70-84.
  10. ^ Reay, T. and C. R. Hinings (2005). The Recomposition of an Organizational Field: Health Care in Alberta. Organization Studies 26(3): 351-384.
  11. ^ Hinings, C. R., A. Casebeer, et al. (2003). Regionalizing Healthcare in Alberta: Legislated Change, Uncertainty and Loose Coupling British Journal of Management 14:S1(December): S15-S30.
  12. ^ Casebeer, A., T. Reay, et al. (2006). Experiences of Regionalization: Assessing Multiple Stakeholder Perspectives across Time. Healthcare Quarterly 9(2): 32-43.
  13. ^ "strategic direction" (PDF). Albertahealthservices.ca. Retrieved January 7, 2018.[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "formal structure" (PDF). Albertahealthservices.ca. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 7, 2009. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  15. ^ "Dr. Stephen Duckett's biography". Albertahealthservices.ca. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  16. ^ ""Dr. Chris Eagle steps down as AHS CEO"". Albertahealthservices.ca. Archived from the original on October 31, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  17. ^ ""Vickie Kaminski resigns as CEO of Alberta Health Services"". Cbc.ca. November 27, 2015. Archived from the original on October 8, 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  18. ^ "AHS Executive Leadership Team | Dr. Verna Yiu". Albertahealthservices.ca. June 3, 2016. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  19. ^ ""Alberta Health Minister fires entire board over executive bonuses"". Archived from the original on August 14, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  20. ^ ""Appointment details, AHS Administrator Janet M. Davidson"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 11, 2013. Retrieved January 17, 2014.
  21. ^ Government of Alberta (September 12, 2013). ""Statement from Health Minister Fred Horne on the appointment of Dr. Cowell"". Alberta.ca. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  22. ^ Government of Alberta (October 23, 2015). ""New Alberta Health Services Board features strong health care expertise"". Alberta.ca. Archived from the original on January 7, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  23. ^ "About AHS | Alberta Health Services". Albertahealthservices.ca. Archived from the original on January 7, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  24. ^ "UNA "about" page". Una.ab.ca. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  25. ^ "AUPE "about" web page". Aupe.org. Archived from the original on January 8, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  26. ^ "HSAA "about" page". Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  27. ^ "AHS facilities website". Albertahealthservices.ca. Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  28. ^ a b c d e f "AHS hospital list". Albertahealthservices.ca. Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  29. ^ "AHS backgrounder". Albertahealthservices.ca. Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  30. ^ "EMS Transition". Albertahealthservices.ca. Archived from the original on December 1, 2010. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  31. ^ "Ground and air ambulance services". Health.alberta.ca. Archived from the original on January 7, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2018.

External linksEdit