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PC centralization of home care wrong for patients

CALGARY, AB (June 7, 2013): The latest move to centralize home care services through two Ontario-based providers will reduce competition, lead to increased costs and have a negative impact on outcomes for patients, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today. 

Alberta Health Services (AHS) announced it was reducing home care providers down from 72 agencies to a dozen in Calgary and Edmonton, with companies, CBI Health and Bayshore Healthcare, receiving the largest contracts among a dozen successful bidders. “This type of decision making shows exactly why the PC AHS superboard continues to remain out of touch with the health care needs of Albertans,” Wildrose Health Critic Heather Forsyth said. “We have seen this type of negative impact centralization by the PC government has done in the past. While AHS indicates immediate cost savings, over the long term costs rise and patient who are receiving home care see the quality if their care get worse. The Wildrose Financial Recovery Plan calls for AHS to find savings by increasing the worker to manager ratio from 5:1 to 10:1, cutting AHS travel and hosting expenses in half and reducing the total amount spent on executive pay by 20 per cent. Wildrose Seniors Critic Kerry Towle said that this centralization approach implemented by the PCs means government ripping away patient choice. “A patient’s relationship with their care giver is a very personal relationship, and this move to reduce home care providers means less choice and less quality of care for these patients,” Towle said. “This is simply another case of the PC government mismanaging our health care system that will have a negative impact on patient care.”