Alberta government fires health board, appoints administrator to fix system stresses

CALGARY — The Alberta government has, for the second time in a decade, fired the governing board of its health service and replaced it with an administrator.

Premier Danielle Smith says Dr. John Cowell will take over the duties of the Alberta Health Services board immediately.

The move affects 11 members of the board, as the 12th quit the day after Smith was elected United Conservative Party leader and premier in early October.

Cowell says work will begin to fix pressing concerns in the system, including a lack of doctors, long surgical wait times, ambulance bottlenecks and overcrowded emergency wards.

Smith has been promising for months to fire the entire board.

She blames the senior ranks of Alberta Health Services for failing to provide the needed expertise during the COVID-19 pandemic, causing hospitals to be pushed to the brink of collapse.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 17, 2022.

The Canadian Press