Posted on Oct 21, 2020
UCP CUTS WILL COST SENIORS THOUSANDS MORE FOR LONG TERM CARE
CALGARY - Seniors will be on the hook for thousands of dollars in additional costs as a result of cuts planned by the UCP in the recently released AHS Implementation Plan.
“The UCP is paying for their $4.7 billion corporate handout on the backs of Alberta seniors,” said Lori Sigurdson, NDP Critic for Seniors and Housing. “Seniors built this province and Jason Kenney is turning his back on them and pushing many into poverty.”
An AHS report commissioned by Health Minister Tyler Shandro and released earlier this month includes plans for:
- New fees for home care, imposing $35.9 million in new costs onto seniors.
- Dramatic accommodation fee increases for Albertans living in long-term care or supported living, which will impose $44.6 million in new annual costs for seniors, and between $2,232 to $4,800 in new costs for seniors in long-term care.
- New fees for medications like Tylenol for residents in long-term care.
These new costs come after Shandro threw 60,000 Albertans off the seniors’ drug plan, cutting the program by $72 million, and announcing plans to impose new out-of-pocket deductibles in Budget 2020.
Shelley O’Neil has been a Registered Nurse for thirty five years and expressed her disappointment with potential increases to fees in continuing care. She said, “the system is underfunded even with accommodations fees being charged by organizations with little accountability and transparency. Seniors and their families worry that they will not be able afford services that are needed and remain very afraid that the care they need when they need it will not be there now and in the future.”
Jaswinder Sull said he and his wife have already suffered because of UCP cuts when his wife, Jasvir, was kicked off his drug plan forcing the couple to pay out of pocket for her prescription drug coverage. “Most seniors live on fixed incomes. We simply cannot afford the increases in costs being imposed on us by this Premier,” said Sull.
“It’s incredibly cruel for Jason Kenney to force seniors on fixed incomes to pay more while he shovels money over to already profitable corporations,” said Sigurdson. “I’m calling on Jason Kenney to cancel these brutal cost increases immediately.”