A 246-page report by Auditor General Merwan Saher reveals that the Alberta Health Service does not have a proper documentation and reporting system to trace back their overall finances and spending.
The report detects incidents in which the Health Board signed million dollar contracts in order to improve health care facilities only after the construction work already started. Often spending was not reported at all or misclassified.
The report further reveals: "Without proper contractual arrangements, the AHS capital plan is jeopardized, unfilled expectations may lead to difficult and costly resolution, and there is greater risk of cost escalation that would be borne by taxpayers."
Especially the Alberta Children and Youth Services Ministry with head Yvonne Fritz is accused of not having documented inspections regularly. Furthermore, in small cases of breaches, the arrivals of patients to surgeries were not correctly documented. The report points at the risk that misreporting of single, small cases might lead to bigger consequences in the long run.
Fritz highly agrees: “Whenever you have a large system ... you really do have to have the solutions when the problems are identified, because if you don’t, those problems do grow.”
Angry voices on this lack of proficiency on side of the board underline that the real impact will only show in the next weeks or months and that the incidents are not excusable for many Albertans.
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