Saher looked at figures from 2012 and 2013 when about 735,000 people in the province were known to have at least one chronic ailment.
The cost to the health-care system at that time was $4.5 billion.
That figure didn't include lab tests, long-term care and home care.
report points out that the top 10 per cent of health-care users – most
of whom have at least one chronic condition – account for more than 75
per cent of health-care spending.
He suggests the way to lower that cost is to slow progression of diseases by better managing their conditions.
auditor's report also says Alberta generally does a good job providing
care for people with chronic diseases, but the care tends to be
Saher says no one has overall responsibility for
making sure all health-care providers are working together or that
everyone is receiving the same level of care.
recommendations include stronger supports for family doctors and more
information sharing between different health-care sectors.
urges that nine of his recommendations should be addressed within a
year, including one that suggests Alberta Health Services identify and
provide care to patients who don't have a family doctor.
Another nine recommendations are longer-term and deal with health-care organization and outcomes.
Chronic health conditions costing Alberta billions each year: auditor
Alberta's auditor general says caring for people with chronic health problems is costing the provincial government billions of dollars each year. Merwan Saher says in a report that conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes are the biggest challenges facing health care.
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