Our patients should have access to safe and quality care when they need it, where they need it, every time they need it. To best deliver this care today and in the future, AHS is taking action to build a workforce that will support our patients’ needs by:
Alberta’s population has grown by one million people in the last 12 years alone. Our population is also aging, and more people have multiple, complex health needs. On top of that, many of our health providers are retiring or close to retiring.
If AHS does not respond to this situation, by 2017 we’d need to hire about 35,000 more clinical staff simply to make up for retirements, turnover and growth. We have to ensure we are giving the best, most responsive care to our patients, where they need it and when they need it – now and in the future.
What is the solution? There is not a single answer.
AHS is bringing together patients and families, care teams and all parts of the health system to change how we work together, across the system, to ensure that no matter where you access care, your experience is at the centre of everything we do.
The new model is about allowing the health professionals to do their job better, not taking their jobs away. We are not cutting staff, we are redeploying them where patients need them the most, and to where they can best do the job they are trained and skilled to do.
AHS has one of the lowest rates of clinical staff working full-time in all of Canada. This needs to change. When there are more full-time positions, patients and families see the same health providers more regularly. They get to know their care team and can better express their care needs and preferences.
Patients and their families deserve reliable staffing levels and a consistent level of care. By developing teams of staff to cover for absences, Albertans can be assured of reliable staffing levels. And staff can have more predictable schedules and will not be asked to work as much over-time.
We need to have the right people to care for our patients now and in the future. More health providers in the right place means patients have quicker access to care and reduced wait times. We have and will continue to increase the number of clinicians working at AHS. Visit our Careers page for job postings.
Only 31% of AHS nurses work full-time compared to the national average of 56.9%.
In 2012/13, we increased the number of full-time clinical staff by 4.6 per cent, or approximately 2,900 staff.
Our overall nursing workforce (including LPNs and HCAs/NAs) increased by 13%, or more than 3,650 since 2010. That’s more than two times the population growth rate.
From April 1 to June 30, 2013, the largest increase in the clinical workforce was in RNs with 471 new nurses joining AHS.
Each year, thousands of clinical shifts are filled by relief staff. These shifts can be difficult to fill and may be paid at over-time rates.