Health funding 2016–2017

Funding the health system

  • The consolidated Health budget is $20.4 billion, which reflects a Health Ministry consolidated operating budget increase of 3%.
  • Every hour we will spend $2.3 million – almost $56 million per day – to maintain and improve Alberta’s health care system.
  • Total consolidated health spending represents almost 40% of the Government of Alberta consolidated expense in 2016–17.
  • The Ministry of Health includes the Department of Health, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Health Quality Council of Alberta.

Alberta Health Services

  • $14.3 billion in consolidated expense is budgeted for AHS operations in 2016–17, which is $174 million higher than the 2015–16 forecast. 
  • A significant portion of AHS funding, $11.9 billion, is provided through base operating funding from the Department of Health to deliver health services and operate health facilities throughout Alberta. AHS base operating funding from the department is $388 million or 3.4% higher than the 2015–16 forecast and represents over 61% of the department’s 2016–17 operating expense budget.

Physician compensation and development

  • A total of $4.8 billion in consolidated expense is budgeted for 2016–17 for physician compensation and development programs. This represents a $40 million or 0.8% increase compared to the 2015–16 consolidated forecast. 
  • The department allocates 23% of its 2016–17 operating expense budget, or almost $4.5 billion to support physician compensation and development programs.

Drugs and supplemental health benefits

  • Over $2 billion in consolidated expense is budgeted in the health system for drugs and supplemental health benefits, including seniors’ health benefit programs, Alberta Aids to Daily Living, outpatient cancer therapy drugs, and specialized high cost drugs. 
  • The department allocates 9.9% of its 2016–17 operating expense budget, or $1.9 billion to support drug programs and supplemental health benefit costs.

Primary health care and other department-funded health programs

  • The department has allocated $237 million to support primary health care and $40 million to support addictions and mental health initiatives. 
  • The department has allocated $739 million for several other health system priorities including human tissue and blood services, out of province health services, community and healthy living programs, health research, services provided by health professionals (such as oral surgeons, optometrists and podiatrists), vaccination programs, information systems development and operations.

Ministry support services

  • Approximately $67 million is budgeted for the department’s strategic management of Alberta’s health system.