HSAA raises concerns about frontline health care hiring freeze

For immediate release 

February 22, 2024 

HSAA raises concerns about frontline health care hiring freeze 

Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) Vice-President, Leanne Alfaro reacts to new health-care recruitment policies aimed at reducing an operating deficit that will restrict the hiring of frontline health-care professionals.  

EDMONTON – Yesterday, HSAA learned that Alberta Health Services (AHS) is cancelling recruitment for critical frontline health-care professionals as part of a hiring freeze to manage an operating deficit.   

“Wait times across the health-care system are too long because there are not enough health-care professionals available,” said Leanne Alfaro, Vice-President of the Health Sciences Association of Alberta. “This government needs to do everything it can to keep the health-care professionals we have and fill every vacancy.”  

On February 20, AHS sent an email to HSAA outlining plans for “cost management strategies on hiring” that require Senior Operating Officer approval for all frontline position recruitment. This applies to AHS, Alberta Precision Labs, Carewest and CapitalCare. It was identified that this is being done to find the required cost savings to manage an operating deficit. 

The next day, HSAA received reports that AHS cancelled recruitment for critical frontline health-care positions.    

“We are very concerned that just a few months into the restructuring of health care, commitments made by this government to health-care professionals are not being honoured and addressing the staffing crisis is not the top priority,” said Leanne Alfaro.  

“When the government announced their plans to restructure health care, they were clear with HSAA and Albertans that they shared our concerns about staffing levels. The Minister of Health committed to working on increasing the frontlines of health care and made assurances that they were not planning any job losses.” 

“Our question to the Minister of Health is simple,” continued Alfaro. “How can you be committed to addressing the staffing crisis and growing the frontline of health care when implementing a hiring freeze?” 

Media Inquiries:  

Myles Curry, Director Communications and Engagement 

587-991-9445 | MylesC@hsaa.ca