Friday, October 28, 2016

the politicians expect us to believe now / that publicly funded means publicly available----------Mr. Barnes: Yeah. Minister Hoffman, the number one advertisers on radio stations in Medicine Hat are Kalispell and Great Falls clinics: come down here and get your services rather than wait. We need to do something. I’d like to talk about page 57 of your business plan, 1.2. Your desired outcome is to create 2,000 public long-term care spaces over four years to improve seniors’ care and take pressure off acute-care systems. Absolutely wonderful. I absolutely can’t believe that the last government didn’t do this when it’s so much better to keep people in a healthier environment for them, never mind the cost savings. I just want you to talk about the word “public.” Do you mean that things like the ASLI grants and working with private expertise and private capital will be no longer involved? Do you mean that our strong not-for-profit sector will not have an opportunity to share in helping Albertans? What do you mean by the word “public”? Ms Hoffman: I mean publicly accessible, that they’re going to be needs based, not means based. If you need to access a space, regardless of your personal income that’s going to be available to you. As you’ll see with the ASLI clarification, that our government took upon ourselves a few weeks ago, there is a mix of the three different types of service providers. We’re really working to make sure that the needs of communities, the needs of those who are aging are the driving decision-making factors and making sure that we’re investing in those highest level of need care beds. So long-term care beds and dementia beds are certainly where we’re focusing our capital efforts because those are some of the citizens – every citizen deserves to live with dignity and respect in a place where they are safe. For the people who are living in long-term care and dementia care, unfortunately, for many of them today the only safe place is a hospital bed, and nobody wants to be in the hospital if they don’t need to be there. We need to move on this. Yeah. It’s around public accessibility.-----------------The current government has fallen far short of its election commitment to open 2,000 public long-term care beds by the end of 2019, including 500 new beds in 2015. It has also continued the previous government’s approach of deregulating and privatizing residential senior care: of the 951 continuing care beds added after the NDP formed government, 75% have been supportive living and 55% have been in for-profit facilities. The dearth of LTC beds has been a problem that has grown over many years and will become even more acute in the future, as the senior population in Alberta is growing both absolutely and as a proportion of the overall population. The growth in the older senior population (85 years and over) coupled with a stagnant number of long-term care beds has meant that the bed availability rate (the number of LTC beds per 1,000 aged 85 and over) has fallen almost in half since 2001.--------

and I said the stories
so that I would learn
the heart
of course
I learned many other things as well
this is not the road that brings happiness I know

and I said the stories
and listened to the sea singing
so that I might replicate
the soul in the stories I heard
which were all about the heart breaking
when you get here please let me know why these things happened


and I said the stories
I read the reports
and the interpretations of reality
it's odd but there are many meanings
to the same words    we simply have to pretend
that the politicians believe them

and I said the stories
which were unbelievable
but they are true    the politicians expect us to believe now
that publicly funded means publicly available
oh when did the NDP folks turn Tory in Alberta can you say?






https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/parklandinstitute/pages/428/attachments/original/1476995949/losingground.pdf?1476995949

Losing Ground

Alberta's Residential Elder Care Crisis


Residential Care in Alberta
As of March 31, 2016 there were 14,768 long-term care (LTC) beds in
Alberta and 9,936 designated supportive living (DSL) beds. Including
an additional 243 palliative care or hospice beds gives a total of 24,947
continuing care beds in 2016.
The trend in Alberta since 2010 has been a relatively stagnant number
of LTC beds coupled with significant growth of DSL beds. In 2016,
Alberta had 377 more LTC beds than it did in 2010, or an increase of
2.6%. The number of DSL beds, on the other hand, increased by 4,770,
or an increase of 92.3%. Accordingly, the percentage of Alberta’s
continuing care beds that were classified as DSL as opposed to LTC
grew from 26% in 2010 to 40% in 2016. This means that nearly half
of the beds available in the province for elderly Albertans in need of
24-hour health care do not have a registered nurse on-site and are not
subject to minimum staffing requirements.
Of the 24,947 continuing care beds that existed in 2016, 5,258
(21%) were operated by AHS or a regional health authority, 10,808
(43%) were run by for-profit corporations, and 8,881 (36%) were
run by non-profits. Since 2010, the number of continuing care beds
in government-run facilities has decreased, while the number of
privately owned beds, and to a lesser degree non-profit-owned beds,
has increased significantly. In the last seven years, Alberta has lost 333
beds in public facilities while private, for-profit facilities have added
3,255 beds.
Since 2013, there has been little to no movement by either the
previous Progressive Conservative government or the current NDP
government to address the shortage of long-term care beds. The 
current government has fallen far short of its election commitment to 
open 2,000 public long-term care beds by the end of 2019, including 
500 new beds in 2015. It has also continued the previous government’s
approach of deregulating and privatizing residential senior care: of the 
951 continuing care beds added after the NDP formed government, 
75% have been supportive living and 55% have been in for-profit 
facilities.
The dearth of LTC beds has been a problem that has grown over many 
years and will become even more acute in the future, as the senior 
population in Alberta is growing both absolutely and as a proportion 
of the overall population. The growth in the older senior population 
(85 years and over) coupled with a stagnant number of long-term care 
beds has meant that the bed availability rate (the number of LTC beds 
per 1,000 aged 85 and over) has fallen almost in half since 2001.




The Ministry of Health’s 2016 annual report, as well as its 2015–2016
Business Plan, both specify that the government’s plan is to open
2,000 “public long-term care spaces.” This would seem to be an
acknowledgement that government spending is most effective on
publicly run long-term care homes, as opposed to funding the
operations of private, for-profit long-term care homes, where studies
have shown the quality of care to be inferior. However, the only step
the government acknowledges having taken toward opening these
public beds is the approval of projects at non-AHS care homes.13 In
fact, the plan to give public funds to 25 projects – each of which had
already been announced by the prior PC government – includes
paying up to 50% of the project’s capital costs for several for-profit
corporations.14 While heavily subsidizing profitable businesses would
seem to run counter to the government’s promise of funding public
beds, Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman has squared these facts by
stating that her ministry’s use of the term “public” refers to the rather
innocuous idea of public availability, rather than the more meaningful
sense of public delivery.15


15 Health Minister Sarah Hoffman, in response to Wildrose MLA
Drew Barnes. Alberta Legislature Standing Committee on
Families and Communities, 16 November 2015.


http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=fc&section=doc&fid=108
Standing Committee on Families and Communities


http://www.assembly.ab.ca/ISYS/LADDAR_files/docs/committees/fc/legislature_29/session_1/20151116_1900_01_fc.pdf

November 16, 2015
Legislative Assembly of Alberta
The 29th Legislature
First Session
Standing Committee
on
Families and Communities
Ministry of Health
Consideration of Main Estimates
Monday, November 16, 2015
7 p.m.
Transcript No. 29-1-6

Mr. Barnes: Yeah. Minister Hoffman, the number one advertisers
on radio stations in Medicine Hat are Kalispell and Great Falls
clinics: come down here and get your services rather than wait. We
need to do something.

 I’d like to talk about page 57 of your business plan, 1.2. Your
desired outcome is to create 2,000 public long-term care spaces
over four years to improve seniors’ care and take pressure off acute-care systems.
Absolutely wonderful. I absolutely can’t believe that
the last government didn’t do this when it’s so much better to keep
people in a healthier environment for them, never mind the cost
savings. I just want you to talk about the word “public.” Do you
mean that things like the ASLI grants and working with private
expertise and private capital will be no longer involved? Do you
mean that our strong not-for-profit sector will not have an
opportunity to share in helping Albertans? What do you mean by 
the word “public”? 

Ms Hoffman: I mean publicly accessible, that they’re going to be
needs based, not means based. If you need to access a space,
regardless of your personal income that’s going to be available to
you. As you’ll see with the ASLI clarification, that our government
took upon ourselves a few weeks ago, there is a mix of the three
different types of service providers. We’re really working to make
sure that the needs of communities, the needs of those who are
aging are the driving decision-making factors and making sure that
we’re investing in those highest level of need care beds. So long-term 
care beds and dementia beds are certainly where we’re focusing our 
capital efforts because those are some of the citizens – every citizen
deserves to live with dignity and respect in a place where they are
safe. For the people who are living in long-term care and dementia
care, unfortunately, for many of them today the only safe place is a
hospital bed, and nobody wants to be in the hospital if they don’t
need to be there. We need to move on this. Yeah. It’s around public
accessibility.




http://www.parklandinstitute.ca/losing_ground

Losing Ground

Alberta's Residential Elder Care Crisis


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