Friends of Medicare are calling on Alberta Health Services to consult with and respect the wishes of the people of Sundre and the long-term care residents in the Sundre hospital.
"This is a continuing pattern from AHS, to show up in a community and present the closure of publicly delivered services as a done deal," said Executive Director Sandra Azocar. "While everyone was aware that Mountain View Seniors Housing would be opening supportive living beds, it was never discussed as a replacement of the higher level of care provided at the Sundre Hospital's long-term care spaces."
Forty supportive living beds will be opening in the new private facility, while fifteen long-term care beds will close in the hospital. Alberta Health Services has not provided data on long-term care wait lists for the region.
"Despite assurances that the new facility will meet their needs, residents and family members have expressed concern about the downgrade in level of care," Azocar continued. "We have seen similar issues with closures in communities like Carmangay, and are not assured that this downgrade is being done with the best interest of patients in mind."
"The 2015 Ministry business plans for Alberta Health and Alberta Seniors had prioritized building 2,000 new public long term care beds. We are now at negative fifteen. The decision to close the Sundre long-term care beds is literally moving in the opposite direction we need to increase capacity," Azocar added.