The provincial finance minister says health care is the government's top priority.

In the next year, health spending will increase by $2.1-billion.

The extra funding will be used to help pay off Alberta Health Service's $1.3-billion deficit.

The department will also get a six per cent funding increase in each of the next three years.

The United Nurses of Alberta says, overall, it's pleased with the budget. "I see this as giving the potential to repair some of the damages that have been done over the past year. I see this as the potential to open some beds and to hire new staff for positions which have been frozen," says Heather Smith.