NDP calling on province to reverse private contract model for home care

The Alberta Legislature, in Edmonton, Alberta. Emily Mertz, Global News

EDMONTON- The Alberta NDP is calling on the government to put an end to its private contract model for home care.

“This PC government can’t be trusted to manage home care in the province,” said NDP Health Critic David Eggen.

The call comes after Revera- one of the companies contracted to provide home care in Alberta- walked away from half of its home care contract in Edmonton.

“Revera is experiencing challenges in service delivery in the southwest Edmonton area and has requested that AHS transfer services to alternate approved providers in this area,” Dr. Chris Eagle, president and CEO of Alberta Health Services (AHS) said in an emailed statement Wednesday afternoon.

Eggen says he met with a Revera representative in September who wasn’t happy with the contract in southwest Edmonton. According to Eggen, Revera said the area was a bad geographic choice as it cost too much money for employees to live there. In addition, Eggen says the transition of contracts usually takes 90 days, but says providers were given just three weeks to takeover in Alberta.

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“Patients are not getting their home care properly. Like I say, workers can’t afford to work there anymore. And now we see some of the big corporations walking away. This whole thing has been chaos. The government needs to reverse it now and start delivering home care publicly,” Eggen said Wednesday.

“The minister must open his eyes to the reality that his home care experiment has been an abysmal failure,” he expressed. “The PCs need to reverse these contracts immediately, and ensure home care recipients begin to receive the care they have been promised.”

AHS says it is in the process of transferring home care services provided by Revera in the city’s southwest to other providers. It maintains all home care clients will get the care they need, when they need it.

“All clients that will be affected by this transition will be contacted directly by AHS prior to changes occurring. We will work with clients to ensure there is no disruption of service and the transition is as smooth as possible,” Eagle said.

He also maintains this system is working.

AHS encourages anyone who has concerns about the transition to contact their case manager, or call the 24/7 Community Care access line at 780-496-1300.

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