Albertans deserve answers on changes to AHS governance

On February 6th Alberta Health Services (AHS) put out a request for proposal, inviting companies to submit proposals for the "provision of executive search services that will identify qualified, interested candidates to be considered for appointment as members of the Alberta Health Services board."

In November 2014 Dr. Carl Amrhein was given a temporary posting as AHS Administrator by Premier Prentice and Health Minister Mandel to oversee the development of a different governance model for Alberta's health care system. The stated goal was to have the Board reinstated within seven months. Amrhein, Prentice, and Mandel have so far been silent on what the new governance model will look like and how it will address the many problems AHS has faced. 

"Health care is one of the most important areas of government policy to Albertans, yet the government has failed to inform us of their progress," says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare. "They are moving fast and furious to get a new form of governance in place, but once again we are being asked to accept a major change based on blind trust."

The request for proposal raises a number of questions about the hiring process, what decisions the government has already made, and the implications of those decisions.

"If the government has decided on a governance structure, it needs to communicate that to Albertans and explain how the new structure fits into best practice and how it will help provide quality health care," continues Azocar. "This posting also raises a number of other questions: At a time of cost containments, how much is this contract to find board members going to cost Albertans? Why can't this search be done from AHS's existing Human Resources department? What are the criteria they are looking for in AHS Board members? Albertans deserve answers, and it is up to Premier Prentice and Minister Mandel to provide them."


The request for proposal can be found online here: