Alberta needs a health care workforce plan, not a hiring freeze

Alberta needs a health care workforce plan, not a hiring freeze

EDMONTON Earlier today, health care workers raised concerns about a frontline health care hiring freeze. In a statement released this morning, the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) informed Albertans that the province is canceling recruitment for critical frontline health care professionals as part of a hiring freeze to manage an operating deficit.

“In the middle of an ongoing health care staffing crisis, this government is opting to freeze hiring. It’s ridiculous,” said Chris Gallaway, executive director of Friends of Medicare. “Shame on our provincial government. Leaving health care workers continuously short-staffed and overworked will simply drive more of them out of the health care system and out of Alberta, at a time when Albertans are already struggling to access the health care they need.”

From the HSAA statement: “On February 20, AHS sent an email to HSAA outlining plans for ‘cost management strategies on hiring’ that require Senior Operating Officer approval for all frontline position recruitment. This applies to AHS, Alberta Precision Labs, Carewest and CapitalCare. It was identified that this is being done to find the required cost savings to manage an operating deficit. The next day, HSAA received reports that AHS cancelled recruitment for critical frontline health-care positions.”

“We desperately need our government to be laser-focused on the frontline health care workforce. That means actually doing the necessary workforce planning, mapping it out and developing a strategy to ensure that our health care system has all of the human resources needed to provide the care that patients in Alberta deserve,” said Gallaway. “With so many health care workers openly contemplating leaving the system or the province, the government must prioritize a plan to retain those already working here, while moving full steam ahead with recruiting and hiring the skilled health care workers we so urgently need.”


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