December 3rd, 2020

Are planned health-care cuts really a saving?

By Letter to the Editor on October 30, 2020.

An accounting firm hired by the Alberta government says that Alberta will save $600 million a year by cutting 11,000 jobs from Alberta Health Services. The cuts will come from contracting laundry, lab, housekeeping and food services, and the savings will be used to improve our health-care system. If the health-care services that are being cut are going to be contracted out and the money “saved” is being returned to AHS, where is the saving?

The answer is that the private sector will pay a lower wage. In order to pay lower wages, they will have to hire unskilled labourers. Or will the highly trained and professionally qualified civil servants happily line up for jobs for a lower wage? My guess is that they will probably seek jobs in another province, country or profession!

Minister Shandro says that no front-line staff will lose their jobs during the pandemic. But what is stopping the government (which is constitutionally responsible for the health system in Alberta) from declaring when that pandemic is over? Then what? Will the new untrained, unskilled workers be able to prepare the food and do the laundry efficiently and in such a manner that will not unnecessarily spread germs to the patients? Will they prepare one simple meal which then is fed to all patients? We know that some patients need a special diet. If the dieticians also get cut, who will be planning the special meals for the special patients?

And how about disinfecting and cleaning the rooms and equipment? We have already heard of cases where “contracted” workers have used the same cleaning cloth to wipe basins, counters and toilets! Is this how we are going to be “fiscally responsible” at the expense of good health? Hmm?

I have a partial solution to the deficit reduction: Scrap the “War Room,” thus saving a few million dollars or so annually. Then cancel the Houston office where a civil servant/friend has a budget of at least $250,000, saving more money.

All I can say is “Welcome to the Alberta Advantage”: No deficit. No job training required for low-paid jobs in the new, Alberta “efficient health-care system!” Is this our premier’s answer to creating new jobs for Albertans?

Eugene Balay


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Some numbers don’t figure. How do you save $600,000,000 by eliminating 11,000 jobs? That is the average worker is getting paid $54,545 per year. But the work has to be done, so you contract the work to companies that employ minimum wage workers (Average $31,200 per year plus 10% for the contractor) for a cost of $377,500,000. Factor that in to see the average wage of the current employees is “($600,000,000,+$377,500,000)/11.000”
$88,864. In the current employees dreams. Some one is is telling a grand story. Just look at the job postings for cleaners, laundry, and food workers.

Southern Albertan

Yes, again, it’s not about saving money, it’s about privatizing what surrounds health care, and always, in the end, ‘private’ is always, more expensive. After all, there has to be a profit margin and the catering to the corporate shareholders. And, again, the Kenney UCP are not, exploring other avenues of revenue and appear to have a glaring spending problem, i.e.the $30 million/year war room, the $4.7 billion corporate handout, the top wages for those closest to the Premier in the $190,000s to $200,000s/year, the iffy $1.something billion toward a pipeline that might not get built……
And then we have the pig-in-a-poke Transmountain pipeline. The blog, today, at: explains why.


“..always, in the end, ‘private’ is always, more expensive”..
Is that so? Just ask the drivers in BC what a shambolic mess their government monopoly ICBC is. Just ask those same drivers why they continue for decades to pay the most outrageous and erroneously high insurance rates in Canada. Your fallacy is absurd to believe more government and union control is the answer to everything.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dakota

Bungling UCP is flailing around with the Public System.
Eroding the Public Health Care System in order to get their pockets lined by their Corporate Overlords should be obvious.
We have a glaring example of how terrible private health care is: It’s called the USA.
Meanwhile Jason Kenney and his cronies use scapegoating to deflect the plain fact of the matter: They suck at governance. They’re just shills for interests that do not give a flying hoot about the citizens of Alberta.


Baseless accusatory angry banter with zero facts – the usual socialist left wing MO. Your anger against Kenney and the UCP is palpable and obviously has impaired your reasoning ability. Pent up anger also increases ones BP, risk of stroke and cardiac problems – all of which you would also likely blame on Kenney and the UCP. Perhaps you should take up your concerns with your local NDP candidate whom you obviously vote for?

Last edited 1 month ago by Dakota
Dennis Bremner

I still do not get a sense from people that write in or respond to letters that they are aware we have lost 60% of our revenue?
Now, if you wish you can play politics on this all you would like but the bottom line is that the Provincial Gov has to cut expenditures. Those expenditures always and I mean always are direct. Which means “Public Employees, which are those employees paid directly from the Province.
Inevitably that results on decreased services “as wealth increases, services increase, as wealth decreases, services decrease.”
Hence the reason the Health Care system is under attack, Education System etc etc. What we will see in the end is a smaller Provincially Funded service system and a Provincial Sales tax and higher costs everywhere.I don’t agree with any of this, but at least I understand why its happening, it appears you don’t?
Some of the people complaining, are the same that wish to kill Fossil Fuels to save the planet NOW, and you did not figure out your knee jerk thought process would result in what we see NOW? Too funny!

Last edited 1 month ago by Dennis Bremner

Great comment Dennis. Pretty much ends the discussion when someone like yourself mentions reality.

Fedup Conservative

When Klein privatized road maintenance former MLAs from the Lougheed era pointed out that it increased taxpayers costs by 300 %. When he privatized liquor stores the cost of liquor increased by 50%, when he privatized vehicle registration the cost increased from $35. Per vehicle to $85 and Kenney has increased it by another $5. When he privatized the power industry the cost became the highest in Canada and we are still the second highest. Fees added to our bills doubled the cost . Then there is the increase in long term health care system that gave us the highest in Canada and the list goes on and on.

Yet we still have these ignorant seniors still believing every lie these phoney conservatives feed them and make up idiotic remarks to support them. How do they explain why we don’t see any other province in Canada beating up on their doctors, nurses, and teachers like these guys are doing and forcing their own supporters to get ready to pay a lot more out out of their own pockets like these guys are doing? My B.C relatives tell me our doctors are headed their way and they are more than happy to have them. Why wouldn’t they be?

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