Alberta care providers respond to provincial budget

Late last week the NDP government in Alberta unveiled their 2017 Budget. Although it did include funding for a new 200 bed publicly owned and operated care home in Calgary, the budget triggered a strong reaction from the Alberta Continuing Care Association (ACCA).

In a media release issued after Budget 2017 was tabled in the Legislature, the ACCA stated “…the NDP government continues to pay the province’s continuing care industry lip service.” It goes on to state “…our grandparents have been neglected much longer than our province’s recent recession, and, for now, will continue to be forgotten.” 

Tammy Leach, Executive Director for the ACCA states in the news release that “…this budget really misses the mark.” However, Leach does credit the NDP for supporting new investments in home care.  “Recognizing the importance of investments in community care, with an added emphasis on home care, makes sense for Albertans and for a more efficient overall health system.”

The ACCA does reference new investments recently made to support seniors in British Columbia:

Alberta could have followed the lead of our neighbors to the west. On March 9, 2017, the BC Government and its Minister of Health announced significant funding investments in seniors care. $700 million over 4 years for home and community care; contracted providers given funding to allow for an average of 3.36 direct care hours which equates to over 1,500 new front line staff and the BC Care Association was provided with $10 million dollars to assist operators with the purchase of equipment such as wheelchairs and ceiling lifts.

Leach went on to state “…with today’s disappointing announcements, we will simply have to continue to be innovative to strive to sustain the quality care and quality of life our seniors and vulnerable adults deserve.”

About ACCA: ACCA represents a unique alliance of providers in Alberta’s Continuing Care sector. Their members provide care and services for nearly 12,000 long term care (LTC) and designated supportive living (DSL) individuals and over 5.3 million hours of Home Care to Albertans. They champion quality of care, quality of life and enhanced wellness for Albertans requiring Continuing Care. ACCA is a member of the Canadian Association of Long-Term Care (CALTC).