The release of figures showing a tripling of the number of people waiting for long term care since 2006 shows the need for the Alberta government to keep its election promise to build 600 new long term care beds.
That was the assessment of CUPE Alberta President Dennis Mol. CUPE represents about 9,000 members in the health care and seniors care sector.
Mol says the Conservative government is deceiving the public by pointing to funding for assisted living and lodges.
“This is housing, not medical care,” said Mol. “They are taking seniors who need health care, and downloading the cost of it onto individual families.”
“When it comes to keeping their promises, the Conservatives are lost, confused, and prone to wander,” said Mol.
Mol said that hospitals are full of seniors taking up space because doctors are reluctant to release them into assisted living facilities where they won’t get the care they need.
“Instead of getting looked after, assisted living facilities give seniors a menu of services, each with a stiff price attached,” said Mol. “This is why health care costs are rising, because we are paying for hospital stays to cover up the fact the government hasn’t built the right kind of seniors’ facilities.”
Mol said CUPE members are telling him of seniors who are being downgraded to assisted living facilities and want to come back.