April 11, 2013
QP: CORRECTING THE RECORD: PCs slip on budget, AHS and long-term care
EDMONTON, AB (April 11, 2013): PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Liberal Leader Raj Sherman, Premier Alison Redford said, “We have been… keeping spending at zero, which is more than any other party in the opposition suggested.”
FACT: The Wildrose Financial Recovery Plan outlines how the Wildrose would reduce government spending by a further $2.9 billion this year alone and return Alberta to a cash surplus by 2014.
PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from NDP Leader Brian Mason on the need to abandon AHS for its lavish waste and poor record, Health Minister Fred Horne said, “We will not abandon a model that is leading the country… and are receiving savings and quality of care that are unparalleled across this country.”
FACT: Alberta Health Services continues to fail to meet several of its wait time targets for key surgeries, such as coronary bypass graft surgeries where wait times are among the highest in the country. Further, AHS spending in administration is going up 21% this year alone and is widely renowned for its lavish expense accounts which, according to a recent Auditor General’s report, tallied over $100 million dollars in just 17 months.
PC CLAIM: Responding to a question from Wildrose Strathmore-Brooks MLA Jason Hale on the closure of a long-term care facility in Strathmore, Health Minister Fred Horne said, “Let’s be clear, the long-term care services that are currently provided in the hospital are being moved to a brand new facility that will provide a much better… environment for these residents.”
FACT: The closure of the long-term care facility means vulnerable seniors will now be moving from designated long-term care facility to a supportive living environment which is designed for residents requiring a lower level of care. Bruce West, executive director of the Alberta Continuing Care Association, argued as much in a recent article warning about AHS changes to funding for nursing homes, “We have an aging population with very complex care needs that are now being placed in supportive living settings that don’t even have a registered nurse on site,” West said. “If there’s not a regular assessment and reassessment of people’s medical needs, people’s condition deteriorates and they have to be placed in hospital.”