March 14, 2016
NDP government putting rural health care services in jeopardy
The NDP government’s shutting down of long-term care space at the Sundre Hospital demonstrates their willingness to cut front line services and turn their backs on seniors, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
Last week it was announced that all long-term care beds at the Sundre Hospital would close. The closure will result in anywhere from 18 to 36 front line workers losing their jobs and up to five seniors and vulnerable individuals being forced to move away from the community they know.
“Sundre residents are feeling the impact of the NDP government putting seniors and front line care workers at the bottom of their priority list,” Wildrose Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA Jason Nixon said. “To add insult to injury, there is now the threat of the entire Sundre hospital being shut down. The Health Minister must commit to keeping the Sundre hospital open and with the capability to do its critical work.”
The proposed solution to the long-term care bed cuts is to provide additional spaces at the soon to open Lodge in Sundre. However, the new Lodge will have beds at a lower level of care that could be inadequate for some current residents of the long-term care beds at the hospital. It will also mean that the Registered Nurses, and other front line health care workers who currently care for those in long-term care spaces will be out of work.
“My heart goes out to those who are about to lose their jobs, and those who are going to see their loved ones moved from the excellent care they are currently receiving,” Nixon said. “I have serious concerns that they will continue this trend in rural communities across the province. It isn’t too late for the Health Minister to cancel this ill-conceived plan, and restore proper levels of care for the residents of Sundre.”
Wildrose will continue to stand up for the important work that front line workers do each and every day in Alberta, and urge the government to ensure that there are no cuts to front line services.