Health funding: Budget 2017

Updated: March 16, 2017

Funding the health system

  • The Ministry of Health budget is $21.4 billion.
  • Every hour we will spend $2.4 million – $59 million per day – to maintain and improve Alberta’s health care system.
  • The Ministry of Health includes the Department of Health, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Health Quality Council of Alberta.

Alberta Health Services

  • $14.7 billion in consolidated expense is budgeted for AHS operations in 2017–18.
  • A significant portion of the $14.7 billion is provided through base operating funding of $12.2 billion to deliver health services throughout Alberta. AHS base operating funding from the department represents 59% of the department’s 2017–18 expense budget.

Physician compensation and development

  • $5.2 billion in Ministry consolidated expense is budgeted for 2017–18 for physician compensation and development programs administered by both the department and AHS.
  • This includes the impact of the amended agreement with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA).
  • The agreement allows us to work cooperatively with the AMA to better manage costs, and is expected to save as much as $400 million in 2017–18.
  • The department allocates 23% of its 2017–18 expense budget, $4.8 billion to support physician compensation and development programs.

Drugs and supplemental health benefits

  • $2.2 billion in Ministry consolidated expense is budgeted for drugs and supplemental health benefits administered by both the department and AHS.
  • The department allocates 10% of its 2017–18 expense budget, or $2.1 billion to support drug programs and supplemental health benefit costs.

Primary health care and other department-funded health programs

  • The department has budgeted $249 million to support primary health care and $81 million to support addiction and mental health initiatives.
  • The department has  budgeted $1.2 billion for several other health system priorities including human tissue and blood services, out of province health services, population and public health programs, health research, services provided by allied health professionals (such as oral surgeons, optometrists and podiatrists), vaccination programs, and information systems development and operations.
  • Included is an additional $30 million to address the opioid crisis and an additional $15 million to support the implementation of the recommendations in the Valuing Mental Health Report.

Ministry support services

  • $86 million is budgeted for the department’s strategic management of Alberta’s health system.