Alberta Premier Danielle Smith holds her first press conference in Edmonton, on Tuesday October 11, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Alberta government fires health board, appoints administrator to fix system stresses

The Alberta government has, for the second time in a decade, fired the governing board of its health service and replaced it with an administrator.

Premier Danielle Smith says Dr. John Cowell will take over the duties of the Alberta Health Services board immediately.

“Patients are waiting too long across our health system, despite the excellent work of doctors, nurses, paramedics and other front-line staff,” said Smith.

“We need more-urgent action to improve access. Albertans want accountability within AHS and they want to know that a world-class health system and level of care is available when they need it.”

The move affects 11 members of the board, as the 12th quit the day after Smith was elected United Conservative Party leader and premier in early October.

Smith has been promising for months to fire the entire board.

She blames the senior ranks of Alberta Health Services for failing to provide the needed expertise during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing hospitals to be pushed to the brink of collapse.

In a release Thursday, the government said AHS plans to address four goals, including improving EMS response times, decreasing ER wait times, reduce wait times for surgeries and develop long-term reforms through consultations with front line workers.

Alberta Health Services Central ZonecentralalbertaRedDeer

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