Q: Alberta spends more per capita for government services than other provinces. Can we get more value for this money?
JN: The answer, unequivocally, is yes.
Improving government efficiency will help ensure that our healthcare and education systems remain sustainable for years to come. In order to improve efficiency we must:
- Look in-house and re-evaluate our priorities
Pubic services exist to serve the public and should be managed as such. For example, in healthcare, reallocating resources to the front lines can provide significant benefits. Increasing funding for seniors’ homecare and mental health will better serve patients today and save the system money in the long term. Where the NDP allocated tax dollars to nationalize hospital laundry services, we would focus on hiring additional Nurse Practitioners allowing us to serve to more patients, cut wait times and better control costs.
- Look to other jurisdictions
While we have some of the best doctors, nurses and teachers, our health and education systems do not stack up with the best in the world. According to the World Health Organization’s health care efficiency rankings, Canada comes in at No. 30, well behind much of Europe and even some nations in the Middle East. Clearly we can do better! The best part is we do not have to re-invent the wheel to do it. If we want to be the best, we should be willing to learn from the best.
- Look the future
In many ways, our government services remain stuck in the past. Modernizing our data systems and investing in technology will free up time and resources to focus on providing services to Albertans. At the same time, we must step up investments in science and research with a practical application at Alberta’s Universities.
The numbers don’t lie! Alberta is currently on track to amass $90 Billion in debt by 2023. At that time, paying the interest on this debt will cost $3.8 billion annually. We simply cannot wait until then to address the inefficiencies in government without threatening the very services we value most.
The time for action is now!