The replacement of the regional health boards with Alberta Health Services has left patients and health care professionals feeling they have lost their ability to be heard in the health care system.
There are some decisions that are best made at a central level. For example, it makes sense to have a single authority responsible for policy development, strategic direction, setting health care standards, sharing best practices, procurement, payroll, information technology and other back office functions. However, we should give local communities and health care professionals the power to make choices appropriate for the particular circumstances of their communities.
Locally, a more collaborative approach is required with communities and with individual Albertans and health care professionals . Therefore, we should:
- Devolve decision making authority, and the responsibility that goes with it, to local decision makers within the health care system.
- We need to do a better job of including the public and health care professionals in decision making regarding health care.
- Restore community participation and input in the health care system by expanding and improving the current system of Advisory Councils to ensure they that will bring together citizens, local health care providers, and AHS representatives. Health Care Councils must have meaningful access to decision makers so that community concerns will be heard.