Premier Danielle Smith has fired 11 members of the Alberta Health Services board and changed them with an administrator.
Dr. John Cowell will now oversee the $15-billion group — and never for the primary time.
“He can speed up the modifications that all of us must see,” Smith mentioned at a information convention Thursday.
Smith has tasked Cowell with decreasing ambulance wait instances, decreasing emergency room wait instances, and decreasing surgical wait instances within the province.
The authorities additionally desires him to seek the advice of health-care employees to plot longer-term system reforms.
Cowell will report back to Health Minister Jason Copping, who mentioned the federal government wants to maneuver extra rapidly to handle the challenges within the well being system.
Unlike board members, who serve within the roles half time, Cowell shall be a full-time authorities worker.
Cowell mentioned he understands the general public has heard these guarantees earlier than and will really feel skeptical.
“I actually do hope that I’ll be capable of make an efficient contribution to creating well being care stronger and a greater expertise for the affected person,” he mentioned.
“If we’re failing, it is on me,” he later added.
In 2013, Cowell served a one-year time period as AHS administrator after the then Progressive Conservative authorities fired the board. He has additionally been CEO of the Health Quality Council of Alberta.
Replacing the AHS board was one in all Smith’s UCP management marketing campaign guarantees. Last month, she mentioned a brand new governance construction for the provincial well being authority can be in place inside 90 days.
Knowing Smith’s plans for the board, one member tendered her resignation final month as quickly as Smith was elected as get together chief.
Smith has mentioned AHS failed to make sure there have been sufficient health-care employees on the job through the COVID-19 pandemic when it required all staff to be vaccinated in opposition to the illness.
In December 2021, AHS put 1,650 unvaccinated staff with out legitimate exemptions on paid depart. The group employs 121,000 individuals. About 750 of them had been anticipated to return to work final March when the mandate was lifted.
Smith has additionally mentioned AHS uncared for to create sufficient intensive care unit areas in hospitals earlier on through the pandemic.
“In a enterprise, after they fail to fulfill targets they usually fail to fulfill path, you alter the administration,” Smith mentioned in October.
Smith additionally terminated former chief medical officer of well being Dr. Deena Hinshaw this week, and changed her with AHS vice-president Dr. Mark Joffe.
Alberta Health Services additionally has an interim CEO after the now-terminated board ended the employment of CEO Dr. Verna Yiu.
In 2013, previous Premier Alison Redford’s well being minister additionally fired the AHS board of the day after members clashed with the federal government over government pay.
Four directors, together with Cowell, acted rather than a board till the NDP authorities appointed new members in 2015.