Alberta and Ottawa Must Reject Sale of Continuing Care to Chinese Investment Company

Alberta and Ottawa Must Reject Sale of Continuing Care to Chinese Investment Company

Sale of Retirement Concepts to Chinese Insurance Company Anbang Would Impact Patients in 2 Calgary Based Supportive Living Centres

Friends of Medicare are calling on governments in Alberta and Ottawa to oppose and reject the sale of Alberta's continuing care in two Calgary supportive living facilities to international investors.

As reported on November 28 in the Globe & Mail multi-billion dollar Chinese based Anbang Insurance Group intends to takeover BC based Retirement Concepts in a bid estimated to be worth over a billion dollars. Retirement Concepts also owns and operates Millrise Place and Monterey Place supportive living facilities in Calgary.

"This sale is another alarming sign of how private continuing care decisions are driven by profit motives instead of what's best for patient care," said Executive Director Sandra Azocar. "A distant and multi-billion dollar insurance corporation is about the exact opposite of who we need responsible for the care of our loved ones in Alberta."

"Ultimately we want to see a long-term phase out of private care in Alberta, and this is why. We believe companies like Retirement Concepts and now Anbang Insurance Group do not see their role as providing quality care to patients, but as an easy path to a lucrative investment portfolio," added Azocar. "Still we must insist that this sale be rejected so that we can refocus our system on care that is responsive and driven by local needs, and ultimately by the public sector."

The deal is large enough to trigger the $600 million threshold that puts it under review of the federal government's Investment Review Division. 

"We want to see Ottawa reject this deal. Our continuing care system should not be open for the benefit of international investors," continued Azocar. "At the same time we need to hear from our provincial government that they will advocate in the interests of Alberta patients and oppose the sale as well, while taking steps to move our continuing care system out of the hands of profiteers. We can better invest our limited public funds into public care instead of profit driven portfolios."

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