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Alberta continuing care wait times the worst in 5 years: report

Alberta's health watchdog says there's confusion, duplication, and questions over who's accountable for what in the continuing care system.
Saskatchewan to start posting personal care home inspection info online. File / Global News

A new report suggests the province has come up short of its goal to provide more Alberta patients continuing care in a timely manner.

The Alberta Health report shows 56 per cent of patients were placed in a continuing care bed within 30 days of being assessed, which is the lowest number since 2011.

The province’s target for 2016-17 was to have 62 per cent of patients in a continuing care bed within 30 days.

READ MORE: A closer look at continuing care in Alberta

The 30-day mark was reached 60 per cent of the time the previous two years.

The Alberta government said an ongoing need for capacity expansion for an aging population and unanticipated continuing-care capacity and facility issues contributed to missing its goal.

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The province has promised to shorten wait times by opening 2,000 long-term care and dementia units. It also highlighted a need to expand home care services that “enable people to stay home longer.”

READ MORE: Long-term care didn’t improve in Alberta in 2014-2015: survey

In its 2016-17 budget, the Alberta government announced funding to develop 99 long-term care spaces in Edmonton, 206 long-term care spaces and 224 dementia spaces in Calgary and 26 long-term care spaces at the Edson Healthcare Centre.

Continuing care is an umbrella term that includes everything from home care, to supportive living and long-term care.