Health Minister Tyler Shandro (Government of Alberta)

Alberta Health Services will be cutting 9,700 jobs as they look to save up to $600-million a year.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro says doctors, nurses and front line health care staff are not included in those cuts.

"There can be no job losses for nurses or front line clinical staff during the pandemic. So to that end, I can confidently say, the government's direction is that there will be no job losses for nurses or front line clinical staff."

He says while the government positions for workers in labs, laundry, housekeeping and food services will be eliminated, they will instead be contracted out to the private sector.

"Contracting out these services allows AHS to get the best value from private partners and focus on patient care and meeting community health care needs."

Shandro claims most workers won't lose their jobs, but change employers from AHS to a private-sector provider.

He's directed AHS to cut at least 100 senior management positions.

In a release, Shandro says many of the cuts were first announced back in 2019.

Plans to contract out laundry services and community lab services, both announced in 2019, will continue.

Requests for proposals (RFPs) for these services will be issued before the end of the year.

About 70 per cent of community lab services is currently provided by the private sector, while about 68 per cent of health-care laundry is already cleaned by the private sector.

AHS has been given the go-ahead to proceed with developing business cases for both environmental and food preparation services in 2022 and 2023.

Both business cases will be subject to review and approval by the Government of Alberta.

AHS will also streamline non-clinical and back-office operations, including optimizing distribution and inventory management and strengthening staff scheduling and overtime management systems.

Job losses will be minimized in these areas.