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Health spending targeted

Ken Hughes, the head of the Alberta Heath Services Board, announced yesterday that the board would attempt to reduce the growth of health-care spending in the next few years.

Ken Hughes, the head of the Alberta Heath Services Board, announced yesterday that the board would attempt to reduce the growth of health-care spending in the next few years.

This follows an announcement in late December by Alberta’s new health care “superboard” that there would be a $1.3-billion deficit for 2009.

Hughes attributes the deficit to Alberta’s rapidly aging population and the inefficiencies of the past system.

“When we look at health care today, we’re not using all our resources as efficiently and effectively as we could be. We will be looking for ways to eliminate waste within the health care system,” Hughes said.

“We know that we do not have excess resources and that we have to be very practical about how we allocate resources.”

He cited the new “superboard” structure and making better use of rural facilities as ways to reduce costs.

Ted Woynillowicz, the chair of Friends of Medicare, said he is concerned about where the province will make cuts, possibly exacerbating existing problems in the system.

 
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