Accountability and Transparency Needed for Long-Term Care Operators

Accountability and Transparency Needed for Long-Term Care Operators

Friends of Medicare are calling for accountability and transparency for private for-profit operators like Park Place Seniors Living in light of today’s announcement from Alberta Health that they will be opening 99 beds in Edmonton’s Villa Marguerite.

“While we do know that Park Place has received $6.3 million in funding to open the facility, Park Place will also be receiving operational funds to provide care at Villa Marguerite and their other Alberta care facilities. The details of those funding dollars need to be publicly disclosed so Albertans can see where the money is going,” said Executive Director Sandra Azocar. “We also know Park Place is facing potential labour disputes in negotiations with their other for-profit locations. This is partly the result of a neglectful funding policy that allows operators to put caregiver funding into profits or other areas instead of rightly allocating money to paying the staff patients need.”

In 2012 Park Place saw two labour disputes as Licensed Practical Nurses and Health Care Aides at the Hardisty Care Centre, and later Registered Nurses at the Devonshire Care Centre ended up on strike because of unequal pay with other health care workers, and a funding model that did not require money handed over for caregivers to be directed 100% towards the caregiving staff.

“We have seen eight labour disputes with private care operators since Alberta Health Services was formed in 2008. We believe the private sector should be phased out of continuing care, but while it exists Albertans deserve transparency and accountability with public funds given to private operators,” Azocar continued. “When public money is used to produce even greater profit-margins instead of put towards hiring and retaining quality staff, patients and families suffer.”

“We hope that the recent review of continuing care regulations leads to changes that stop the cycle of inequality and labour strife that for-profit operators like Park Place have benefitted from to the detriment of patients and staff,” concluded Azocar.