Six health board CEOs out, three to stay
Published Tuesday, July 8, 2008 3:23PM MDT
Six men and women in charge of the province's former health boards have received pink slips, the head of Alberta's new health superboard announced Tuesday.
Those leaving -- along with their million-dollar paycheques -- include Capital Health CEO Sheila Weatherill and Calgary Health region CEO Jack Davis.
Tom Seaman, John Vogelzang, Shawn Terlson and Bernie Blais were also let go Tuesday.
Yet not everyone received their walking papers -- three former CEOs will stay on with the province in different roles, board chair Ken Hughes said.
Chinook Health region CEO Pam Whitnack, Aspen Health Region CEO Andrew Will and East Central Health Authority head Jim Saunders will stay on in new positions.
The announcement comes as the new Alberta Health Services Board met in Calgary to decide ways they can trim costs from the province's billion-dollar health care system.
"We're going to function as effectively and efficiently and neatly as appropriate," Hughes said. "This is not a cost-cutting exercise. This is a redeployment of talent to make sure we deliver service as efficiently as possible."
Hughes said new positions will open up over the next nine months and the fired officials are welcome to apply.
The dismissals come as one of the first major steps towards streamlining the province's health care system since the superboard was announced on May 15.
Health Minister Ron Liepert announced in May that Alberta's nine health boards were going to be streamlined into one health superboard in favour of the cutting administrative costs associated with running the separate boards.
The cuts will free up major money in next year's budget -- Calgary health region CEO Jack Davis is said to earn about $1.2 million a year. Sheila Weatherill earned about $900,000 last year.
Another question coming out of today's announcement is about the severance packages to be handed out to the dismissed officials.
NDP member Rachel Notley, MLA for Edmonton-Strathcona, said she suspects the packages will total more than $10-million.
"We're concerned about how we're going to ensure proper regional balances of health-care services and how people out in the regions are going to make sure the governments accountable for their needs," she said.
Other opposition members continued to point out the lack of specifics on how the Tories plan to restructure the industry.
"I don't think they've presented a very compelling case for how this is going to improve the health care service delivery for Albertans," Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman said.
Experts estimate the figures could be in the million-dollar range.
More to come ...