Province continues to balance health care budgets on the backs of seniors

Today, Minister Fred Horne announced a 5% increase in  charges for long-term care accommodations starting January 1st, 2013. He sweetened the blow to seniors by opening up with the announcement that he will offset this financial impact to our low income seniors by increasing financial assistance through the Alberta Seniors Benefit (ASB) and Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH).

"The real winners here are the operators of care homes, because the tax payers are paying for these new accommodation rates with this increased subsidy," says Sandra Azocar, Executive Director of Friends of Medicare.

Minister Horne's preoccupation with private operators' financial bottom line speaks clearly to the ongoing  move of this government to support the commodification of seniors' care."  

"FOM is concerned with the lack of regulations that these private operators of long-term care facilities are functioning under when it comes to allocating the funds they receive from tax-payers," says Azocar. 

"With past increases, We have not seen an improvement in the quality of services that seniors are receiving, we have not seen an improvement in the creation of much needed long-term care beds, and we have not seen an improvement in the overall staff morale in these facilities," adds Azocar.

-30 -