6.20.2013

Alberta Government Gives Seniors a Slap in the Face

Even when they do right, they do it wrong.

After heavy public uproar and some outstanding work by Opposition members led by Wildrose Innisfail/Sylvan Lake Seniors’ Critic Kerry Towle, Alberta Health Services decided to change direction on the so-called ‘divorce by nursing home’ policy that saw married couples placed in care facilities up to 100 kilometers apart.

This also meant an end to the ‘first bed’ available policy.  A victory for the Opposition, sure, but really this was a victory for our seniors.

And given the recent list of missteps and fumbles, including the mentioned policy, this was also a golden opportunity for a bit of positive PR for the Redford team.  It would, if nothing else, prove the Progressive Conservative government does have a conscience.

Good news all around.

But not so fast.

I was informed late yesterday afternoon that the policy was under review.  Misstep.  Furthermore, they had decided to reduce the 100km limit to – I’m not joking – 80km. 

Fumble.

Alberta’s P.C. government and their AHS minions have essentially mocked our senior citizens.  It would have been bad enough to keep the policy at 100km while the review process ran its course, but to shave a measly 20km is a slap in the face.

This also means the ‘first bed’ policy is still active.

For couples where one or both is in palliative care, what the hell difference does 20 kilometers make?  To pull such a move shows an absolute disregard for those Albertans who deserve the most respect. It is a slap in the face.

Put bluntly, this is evidence of a nasty reality: Neither the Alison Redford P.C. government nor Alberta Health Services give a damn about our elderly.  They are so used to fixating on numbers and circulating with the who’s who crowd that they have lost not only their way on policy, but their compassion as well.

This government is dead inside.

There’s no telling how long this ‘review’ will take until completion, or what changes to policy will or won’t be made.  It doesn’t matter.  They don’t need a review – they know what’s wrong.  They need to act.

At this point, only the rapid elimination of this unconscionable policy will be acceptable.  The health and well-being of our seniors is at stake.

The same could be said for the Redford government.

1 comment:

Joe Albertan said...

Regardless what they say their actions speak much louder than their words.

His Name Was Steven