Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dear Health Minister: You may wonder why I write these E-Mails denouncing you and your mismanagement of the Healthcare system. It is because I have family in the system as well as knowing many people in the system whose families are not receiving the care they should and are afraid to speak out for fear of being evicted from a facility and then being abandoned by you.

Folks who have family in the continuing care system who see the problems aren't convinced by the GOA spin that is being bruited about that the increase in home care funding will magically end the problems in the rest of the continuing care system such as the supportive living facilities and the long term care places.
Families know what the problems are and they understand that the government at all levels is simply not interested in managing another money pit in the care of seniors. They already have major money outflow in health.

It's a strange matter to me. Government does not want to manage the continuing care system in the PUBLIC sector but it is quite willing to hand over the money to the PRIVATE sector to do as it sees fit. The oversight by the government is lax and indifferent so that the private and public sector facilities are basically able to run their business without any difficulties whatsoever in the way they want to run them even if families do not believe their services are acceptable.  It's a good set up for government because they can say-we have put money into the sector. It's a good set up for the businesses that run the facilities because they are making out like bandits. How much money they are making we don't know because government will not tell us how much each company puts into patient care and how much into profits. Why won't government tell us this? Well I guess if we found out that our family members were getting less money than investors in the deals we'd be yapping to government pretty darn quick.

In any case, we have more families yapping about the problems in care but usually families don't know, don't understand or are afraid to speak. It's understandable that families don't want to speak in public about problems since we know retribution occurs in the form of evictions, bannings, and lawsuits.  You all know about these retribution tactics because of a few families who have yapped and been punished for yapping. Also Ruth Adria had been putting up the news of such underhand and perfectly legal tactics on her website and has been sued for her chatter as well. 

But if we cannot speak about problems that are about public health and safety, if our conversations are deemed as being hard for the businesses' public images, if indeed we are betrayed by the GOA itself in its refusal to give us audits that concern our beloved family members--what sort of a society are we living in?  A democracy requires the free and open discussion of matters of public interest. We need to speak to government and each other about what is happening to some of our family members in the continuing care system. We need to write letters to newspapers. We need to criticize system wide failures. We need to speak about the especial vulnerability of the handicapped citizens in care. And we have a right to ask for changes that government needs to provide. 
The spin is pretty.
The facts may be ugly.
The truth may be detrimental to the public image.
But none of this should stop us from speaking and demanding change as Dr. Redshaw is asking over and over again in his letters to Alberta Health.

From: Edward Redshaw <
Date: Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 8:35 PM
Subject: Unbelievable
Cc: John Pray <>,,, Julie Ali,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Rachel Shepherd <>,,,

Dear Health Minister:

You may wonder why I write these E-Mails denouncing you and your mismanagement of the Healthcare system. It is because I have family in the system as well as knowing many people in the system whose families are not receiving the care they should and are afraid to speak out for fear of being evicted from a facility and then being abandoned by you.

 I do wish that those in power  would cease thinking of any possible repercussions that might affect their status and come out of the closet and let the public know what is the true status of these situations. I keep hoping that if they dig deep enough they might find the courage.You and AHS are getting away with this because you are depending on their fears for them to remain silent. Sad. I do believe that there is a God who is observing all this.

Perhaps you might not read this, because, you have accepted the fact that you, and many of you colleagues, will either be removed from your current positions or seeking employment elsewhere after the next election. You and the Premier might well be re-elected but, thankfully you will not be able to spread further havoc in the Healthcare system. The Premier should admit her mistake and replace you.

Today's, March 21, 2017, Edmonton Journal, shows you smiling (smirking) above an article "Health care system to see major transformation".
Wow!! What a nerve.
1) Taking credit for spending Federal money assigned for healthcare.
2) talking about reductions in acute care when in the next breath you are saying "For the current 2016/2017 fiscal year, the province had budgeted $3.7 billion for acute care, but is currently on track to spend nearly $4 billion.
3) Statistics show Alberta is one of Canada's biggest per-capita spenders on health care, largely due to heavy reliance on care delivered through the hospital,
You and I well know the old saying" There are lies, damn lies and statistics". Perhaps we should add to that "and political statements".
I would like you to provide the statistics that show the about 400 seniors languishing in hospitals because of your ineptitude are the reason for the financial problems.
4) All your talk about seniors dignity and independence is a crock of you know what. You apparently have no idea, or don't want to know, of the realities of the Continuing Care and especially the Long-Term Care system. They are a disgrace to all people with conscience. These residents are not discardable, disposable liabilities. They are human souls.

I would suggest that one day in your comfortable office you bring in a wheelchair. Put on a diaper and sit in the wheelchair until one of your people finds the time to take you and toilet you. Perhaps after sitting in a soiled diaper for a few hours might enlighten you.

Keeping the Faith. Dr. Edward S. Redshaw. Ph.D.

Sent from my iPhone

What is the response of the minister?
Not much.

But there you go.
Sometimes you don't learn until you lose your job.
This is the lesson we had to give to the PCs.
Now the NDPCs will need to get the same message.

As for the seniors languishing in the care of the GOA. Dr. Redshaw is quite correct to state these numbers which were actually more in the 2015 to 2016 annual report. If you go to the AHS yearly report you will find this information. Here are some thoughts I had about these seniors stuck in hospital who are not getting the home they need but instead are in limbo -isolated and alone for the most part. Not the type of situation you want for family members and yet the government doesn't care as they have been accepting this situation for years if not decades. It's part of the accepted policy of government not to build facilities that they consider luxuries for these folks but instead pay out billions of dollars to power companies for a phase out of coal use that was ongoing. Absolutely mind boggling decision making in government EVERYWHERE but for now let us focus on the failures in continuing care.
Alberta Health Services 

The numbers of patients still waiting in hospital for placement are significant. For 2015 to 2016 there were 1411 patients waiting of which 628 were in acute or sub acute care These folks are basically in limbo.

If we look at the total population placed from acute/subacute care the numbers are staggering---they are still using acute /subacute services before placement -5,405 in 2015 to 2016; these folks waited an average of 44 days in 2015-2016 to get transferred out.

All of this seems expensive, inefficient and bad for patient health.

I will look at the information and think about this problem.
It's not right that seniors are stuck in places where they are alone and isolated because there are no placements for them in long term care or other continuing care settings.

It also feels like the money that is wasted on keeping folks in acute/ subacute placements would be better spent on making public long term care/ continuing care placements.

I also feel based on my handicapped sister's downgrade from long term care status to SL4 status that government policy is to cheap out--and make long term care patients into supportive living residents. It's a strategy that will fail in my opinion because these complex care patients are poorly served in SL4 sites even with add on services; there is no expertise to help these patients.

Meanwhile the number of folks getting home care keep going up and I can't see how all of this provision of individual service from one home to another home is efficient or cost effective --116,462 clients alone in the 2015 to 2016 year alone!

May be the home care patients are lower level of care but I can't see the provision of home care services to the increasing numbers of dementia cases or other very old citizens who will be filling the hospital beds without any sort of dementia plan that I can see in Alberta.

#GOASPIN--As Dr. Redshaw points out in this letter to the Hoffman--we are not going to solve the problems in the continuing care system by cutting money to acute care and adding to the home care basket. I mean how will this solve the pressures on the acute care system or the continuing care system when there has been a stable population of folks who enter the acute care system or alternate level of care places and are stuck in limbo at these sites? The stable population of these folks are listed in the 2015 -2015 AHS Annual Report on page 48.
For every year since 2011 we have had about 8,000 folks seeking continuing care services in Alberta. On average every year we have had about 5,000 or more of them stuck in beds in hospital waiting for release to a continuing care facility. On average these poor folks waited between 31 to 44 days to get out. Of the 5,000 or more stuck in hospital, some are stuck waiting because there is no business willing to accept them. Every year since 2011 we have had between 467 to a high of 690 citizens without a home who had to live in acute care, a sub acute care place or some other alternate level of care place.
Government has accepted this situation because it does not want to build long term care facilities or really any continuing care facilities managed by government.
The Government at all levels has been handing over the continuing care sector to private real estate developers. In Alberta most of the care is provided by private care providers. These private care providers must make profits for their investors so we don't know how much money goes to patient care. Private not for profit providers don't make profits but get land and property for assets to grow in value. Public continuing care providers do not make profits and may or may not be interested in providing us the details on how much money goes to patient care.
In any case, the government of Alberta has set up this scenario of a fixed supply of customers who do not have a choice about placement supplying a continuing care industry that is not checked too onerously and whose audits are hidden from us. It's a nice set up.
Meanwhile at the federal level the Liberals have also done their bit to help big business by introducing global players to the free for all. ANBANG is now in and who knows who else will parachute into Canada to take care of our mums and dads? Isn't this neat? It's all about the dollar, the dollar bill yo!

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