Putting Health Care on the Agenda in Calgary-Greenway
Voters are already voting in advance in Calgary-Greenway, with election day coming up right away on Tuesday, March 22nd.
For more information on voting in the by-election visit Elections Alberta.
Friends of Medicare has sent a survey* to each of the candidates asking their positions on important health care issues.
These surveys were sent out to every party candidate as well as one of the independent candidates who had an email listed.
We will be publishing survey results as we receive them.
Survey Background & Questions:
Long Term Care
The Alberta NDP Government were elected on a promise to open 2,000 new public long term care spaces. The Parkland Institute Paper “From Bad to Worse” found that “for-profit elder care is inferior to care provided publicly or by a not-for-profit agency”.
The Alberta Government has yet to announce plans to open any new publicly delivered long term care spaces, and past Governments had closed hundreds of public long term care beds in places like Red Deer, Carmangay, Strathmore, Bashaw and Stettler.
Meanwhile, private continuing care operators are provided public dollars to fund their organizations, while we hear of profit margins as high as 30-40%. Alberta still does not have an independent seniors care ombudsman with powers to randomly investigate facilities and enforce care standards. We are also lacking sufficient staff to patient ratios to better ensure staff and patient safety and provide superior care.
Friends of Medicare supports the expansion of publicly delivered long term care services and the phase out of private delivery.
- Will you and your party support opening more publicly funded and publicly delivered long term care spaces, and if so, how many?
- What will you do if elected to hold the government accountable to their promise for 2,000 new public long term care beds?
- Do you and your party support public dollars ending up in the profit margins of private care corporations like Extendicare and Points West Living? How will you and your party work to end this practice?
The Alberta NDP Government were elected on a promise to “phase in a new model for expanded public homecare”.
We have a fragmented and increasingly privatized home care system that can not meet the needs of patients in quantity or quality. Home care services that can allow patients to remain in their homes instead of in continuing care or acute care spaces are more affordable to our system. Since the 2013 re-organization of home care providers in Alberta, one contract has been given up by Revera in Edmonton, and the Victorian Order of Nurses have closed down operations in Alberta entirely.
Quality home care services are already provided directly by Alberta Health Services, and the expansion of in house delivery will provide more stable staffing, and opportunities to set province wide standards that can be more easily enforced.
Friends of Medicare supports the public delivery of home care services and the phase out of private care.
- Will you and your party support the expansion of publicly delivered home care services, and if so, to what degree?
- If elected how will you hold the government accountable on their promise for expanded public homecare?
Health Care Funding and Provincial Revenues
As a percentage of GDP, Alberta’s health spending and public spending in general trends lower than most provinces in Canada. At the same time our revenues are the lowest in the country. Alberta has room to raise billions of dollars in additional taxes and still lay claim to being the lowest taxed province in the country.
The original vision for medicare is not yet complete. We are still lacking in public delivery of services in continuing care and have yet to add pharmaceutical, dental, vision care, and other services to the medicare umbrella of universal coverage.
In order to achieve that vision, our health care system requires more investment, not less.
Friends of Medicare supports exploring and adopting additional revenue sources so that our government may expand medicare services regardless of the price of oil.
- Do you and your party support expanding the services covered under universal health care?
- Will you and your party advocate for increased revenues to help get Albertans off the resource rollercoaster and to fund expanded health services?
- If your party supports cutting health care funding, how much will be cut, and from which areas?
* Per Elections Alberta we acknowledge our survey is not a poll and was not based on recognized statistical methods.