Health funding 2016–2017

Funding the health system

  • The Ministry of Health forecast is $21.1 billion, which includes a department forecast of $19.7 billion.
  • Every hour we will spend $2.4 million – $58 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

  • $14.3 billion in consolidated expense is forecasted for AHS operations in 2016–17.
  • A significant portion of the $14.3 billion is provided through base operating funding of $11.9 billion to deliver health services throughout Alberta. AHS base operating funding from the Department represents 60% of the Department’s 2016–17 expense forecast.

Physician compensation and development

  • $5.0 billion in Ministry Consolidated expense is forecasted for 2016–17 for physician compensation and development programs administered by both the Department and AHS.
  • As part of the Second Quarter Update, an additional $160 million is being added for physician services, due to growth in number of physicians and higher utilization of services.
  • Without the recent amending agreement with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA), this amount would have been much higher – potentially as much as $125 million more on top of the $160 million currently being added.
  • The agreement allows us to work cooperatively with the AMA to better manage costs, and is expected to save as much as $500 million over the next two years.
  • The Department allocates 23% of its 2016–17 expense forecast, $4.6 billion to support physician compensation and development programs.

Drugs and supplemental health benefits

  • $2.1 billion in Ministry Consolidated expense is forecasted for drugs and supplemental health benefits administered by both the Department and AHS. This represents a $100 million increase from the consolidated Budget 2016 amount.
  • The increase primarily consists of higher drug costs and more clients accessing health benefit programs.
  • The Department allocates 10% of its 2016–17 expense forecast, or $2 billion to support drug programs and supplemental health benefit costs.

Primary health care and other department-funded health programs

  • The department has forecasted $237 million to support primary health care and $40 million to support addictions and mental health initiatives.
  • The department has forecasted $906 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 allied health professionals (such as oral surgeons, optometrists and podiatrists), vaccination programs, and information systems development and operations. This represents a net increase of $43 million which is due to an increase of $54 million for continuing care beds partially offset by $11 million due to reduced funding for equipment for Cancer Corridor projects which has been moved to future years to align with requirements.

Ministry support services

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