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Long-term care beds take a back seat with the PCs: Forsyth

EDMONTON, AB (March 9, 2012): The PC government continues to be missing in action on long-term care with declining and sometimes conflicting numbers leaving seniors and their families behind, Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said today.   As reported today, despite making promises to add hundreds of beds, the government currently has fifty less long-term care beds than four years ago.

  According to Alberta Health Services’ most recent report, there are 1,815 patients province wide waiting for long-term care in the province.  Even more troubling is the fact that PC Cabinet Ministers seem to be having difficulty pinning down what the actual numbers are for long-term care beds across the province.  While the Health Minister Fred Horne is reporting that there are 14,547 beds in the province, the Seniors Minister George Vanderburg is recently on record stating that there are only 14,092 beds.  Both these numbers differ drastically from the number of 14,800 beds given by former Seniors Minister Mary Anne Jablonski this time last year.  “It is shocking that on one of the most important issues facing seniors and their families with expanding waiting lists PC cabinet ministers can’t even get their numbers figured out,” Forsyth said.  “With no tangible plan in place to improve access to long-term care beds for our seniors this government’s record on health care continues to get worse and worse.”  The Wildrose is committed to investing in safe and affordable long term care that will reduce hospital backlogs and the strain on seniors and their families.  For more information on Wildrose policy on seniors health care visit here.  The Wildrose Caucus stands for free enterprise, less government, increased personal freedom and democracy.