LACOMBE, AB (July 10, 2013): Premier Alison Redford should keep her government’s promise to increase the availability of palliative care in Alberta, instead of permitting the temporary closure of palliative care spaces at the Lacombe Hospital, Wildrose Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Rod Fox said today.
Unit B in the Lacombe Hospital and Care Centre has been closed for summer, making palliative care suites unavailable to families in their times of need. The temporary closure stands in contrast to the election campaign promises of the PC government, which pledged to increase the availability of palliative care in its 2012 election platform. “Palliative care is one of the most essential services we can provide for our loved ones. I am disappointed there will be fewer palliative care spaces at the Lacombe Hospital this summer,” Fox said. “Health Minister Fred Horne should keep his government’s promise to provide more palliative care services, properly staff units and stop AHS from shortchanging front line resources for families in their times of need. Unit B needs to be reopened immediately.” Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth called on the government to ensure Albertans have access to palliative care spaces when needed, and noted the Lacombe Unit B closure continues the trend started when the PC government callously cut 24 palliative care nurses in Calgary. “This government consistently gets its priorities backwards. The PC government continues pulling resources away from the front lines of health care and needs to be held to account,” Forsyth said. “At the end of the day we need to ensure that our hospitals and front line workers have the resources they need to deliver health services for our most vulnerable.”