Letter confirms what government has denied

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to Greg Workun’s letter of last week that discussed AHS’s 100 km rule

Dear Editor,

Re: “MLA’s claims not totally correct”

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to Greg Workun’s letter of last week that discussed AHS’s 100 km rule for  seniors’ placement also known as the divorce-by-nursing home policy.

Mr. Workun takes me to task for claiming Wildrose managed to get the government to end the 100Km policy. He told us that in his professional experience, the government has just quietly replaced the 100 km rule with an 80Km rule. His information is distressing to hear confirmed.

In the Legislature, the Health Minister has frequently declared that the 100Km policy had been rescinded and that there is no rule to force seniors to accept placements that are far away from their spouses, friends and loved ones. Wildrose MLA Kerry Towle posed a specific question to the minister on this topic on November 25. The minister assured that “the hundred-kilometre policy that Alberta Health Services had in effect was clearly rescinded.” He assured us that “there was no policy in effect in Alberta today that requires anyone to accept a continuing care placement within a hundred-kilometre radius of his or her community.”

I want to thank Mr. Workun for his brave letter. With his letter, we finally have a health worker confirming what the government has so far denied – that they only reduced the amount by which it can split apart married couples to 80 km and have not definitively ended the policy as they promised was already accomplished.

Wildrose cares about the quality of life for seniors in longterm care. Wildrose will continue to hold this government to account for breaking their promise to definitively end the divorce-by-nursing home policy and to continue to press for it to end.

MLA Rod Fox