Saturday, October 31, 2015

no more candy we insist

we putter around the house
the children have come and gone
taking all our candy

we stop whirling
and wait for the night to crack
the nut of the moon

all the pumpkins fly away
into coaches
and the mice turn into rabbits

halloween is over for yet another year
the candy wrappers fly down the street
the children sleep in their beds covered in chocolate

a ghost flies by and speaks
ten goblins creep away   and lanterns blow out
the wizards and witches cast spells

a gang of candy snatchers seek bodies
and the harvest is all collected
I shut the door    we put out the lights

no more candy at this house
no more candy we insist     the pumpkin sits lonely
fretting over the lack of decoration  

but I left that order long ago

I once made a trinket
out of wood and wire
the thing was subtle briefly
a puppet to admire

I put it on a stage
so that it would garner praise
but I tired of the dancing
and the layering of the glaze



so I left the little trinket
in a store    and went away
the trinket tarnished slowly
and the entire went astray

without a work to flounder me
I had to pass the time
I worked on the maggot language
and the apple that was mine


one day I passed the store
where I saw the puppet hang
seeing that tidy creature
gave me quite a pang

but I left that order long ago
now the maggot burrows through
I leave the puppet dancing
and I learn to follow you

take years to learn a folly / and never grieve the cost

all time's a string for pulling
will you drag it behind you?
or throw the string up high
into the swirling blue?

ship your hours on an ocean
and sail away from land
let the buttons of the seconds
mushroom on the falling sand

make a minute linger longer
than the hour you have lost
take years to learn a folly
and never grieve the cost

one day you'll wake up fearful
wondering where the entire went
the forward spiral is briefer than
the past that you invent

then stop time entirely
within the pause of sound
make a poem like a globe
and put a village in that round

shake the globe of time joyfully
for each shake will make anew
the past dissolves in future
and the entire is quite askew


all time's a string for pulling
let it accordion go
open and close the instrument
have no need to know







some lessons that all politicians can learn

It is unfortunate that the Wildrose party hasn't learned this lesson:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/wildrose-budget-response-1.3298180

  • Black Swan
A good politician will use the media to deliver the message and channel the news.

A very poor politician will make the fatal mistake of becoming the news.

WRP, still stuck in a time-warp while the rest of Alberta moves on...

*****************

It is good advice.
The media reports to citizens and if you are elected to office, you should be talking to media respectfully and openly.
Without journalists we would not even know the very little that we do know.
The Wildrose party could become a contender in the cities but they have to learn to be nice people who speak kindly and productively to the folks who bring us the daily news.

Here is some advice to all politicians---don't give journalists a hard time.
And here is more advice to all politicians such as the health minister in Alberta--if you've time to meet the journalists to chat--you've time to meet with the citizens to do the same relationship building.

Another important piece of advice to the Wildrosies--lose the love for Harper. We don't have any and we don't want to be reminded of our past mistakes.  

  • leepulig
Brian Jean on yesterday's PnP complained that Notley Govt. starts question period at 9 in the morning. guess what Mr. Jean, we had to start work at 8.15 and had to be at our desks by 8.05 to get ready to work by 8.15. if you can't manage time, you can't manage anything.
  • 7 hours ago
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T Laughing Lion
  • T Laughing Lion
@leepulig - I almost fell off my chair when he pronounced his luv for Harper and said he was the greatest ever :)

  • Western Republican
I'm Conservative, and i believe that was very childish behaviour on the part of the Wildrose. .
  • 3 hours ago
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LarryRight
  • LarryRight
@Western Republican Agreed. And I'm a Wildrose member.




*******************
Most interestingly is this comment:


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/wildrose-budget-response-1.3298180

  • Think Zinn
The NDP deals with far harsher question from the unapologetically conservative monopoly on media called Postmedia. They own every single daily newspaper in Alberta. ( The Calgary Herald, The Edmonton Journal, The Calgary Sun, and Edmonton Sun)

Its quite telling that the only non Postmedia outlet The Globe and Mail is getting attacked by the WR.
***********
In the end the political hires seem to forget that they all work for us; I'm hoping they wake up to this news soon.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/wildrose-budget-response-1.3298180

  • Blink.1001
I believe Canadians are tired of being taken for granted, looked down on and belittled by those who make out they wish to serve , but only wish to serve themselves .

TalkingBack Gawd! Canada is back!

So nice.
We have a prime minister who is normal.
His wife is normal.
His kids are normal.
No more environmental radical junk for the next few years.
No more division of folks along religious lines.
No more muzzling of scientists.
No more of the sorts  of issues that made my teeth ache.
This comment says it all:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/trick-trudeau-halloween-1.3298754
  • TalkingBack
Gawd! Canada is back!


Justin Trudeau's family dresses up for Halloween

Prime minister-designate, dressed as Han Solo from Star Wars, takes his family trick-or-treating

The Canadian Press Posted: Oct 31, 2015 8:30 PM ET Last Updated: Oct 31, 2015 8:41 PM ET
Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau, dressed as Han Solo from The Empire Strikes Back, walks with his children Hadrien (second from right), Ella-Grace and Xavier, as his wife Sophie Gregoire, dressed as Princess Leia, jokes with onlookers as the family prepares to go trick-or-treating in Ottawa on Saturday.
Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau, dressed as Han Solo from The Empire Strikes Back, walks with his children Hadrien (second from right), Ella-Grace and Xavier, as his wife Sophie Gregoire, dressed as Princess Leia, jokes with onlookers as the family prepares to go trick-or-treating in Ottawa on Saturday. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)
Justin Trudeau took on a more swashbuckling image Halloween night as he took his family out trick or treating.
Canada's next prime minister dressed up as Han Solo of Star Wars fame while Sophie Gregoire wore a Princess Leia costume as they took their three children to knock on doors in Ottawa's high-end Rockcliffe neighbourhood Saturday night.
The Trudeaus and some family friends made the rounds near Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General.
The Trudeaus stood on the street as their two eldest kids knocked on doors and received treats.
Son Xavier, 8, was dressed as a bird, daughter Ella-Grace, 6, was dressed as Princess Anna from the Disney movie Frozen and Trudeau's 19-month-old son Hadrien was dressed as a ninja turtle.
The mood was relaxed as many residents welcomed the Trudeaus to the neighbourhood and one person posed for a selfie with the incoming prime minister.
One man who encountered Trudeau's party on the street didn't initially realize the Star Wars character was the prime minister designate and did a double take when he realized who it was.
Security accompanying the Trudeaus was very low key.
The Trudeaus will move into a home on the grounds of Rideau Hall while the prime minister's official residence 24 Sussex Drive is being renovated.
Trudeau Family Halloween 20151031
The Trudeaus made the rounds near Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

joy---------“I do maintenance in the housing projects. I replace fixtures, do carpentry work, and fix electrical problems. I get a lot of joy from it. I love seeing how happy people get when they see that something is being done. My favorite is when I’ve fixed up an apartment for a new tenant. Sometimes the people moving in have been homeless, and they are so excited to have a home. The kids walk around the apartment with really big eyes, like: ‘We get to live here?’”

Ordinary people have many points and corners to them that I think they are all stars. They struggle and work so hard. When I see them doing what they can to alter what is I am encouraged to keep going myself.  These ordinary people of the world carry their poems inside them and if you wait, they will tell these poems to you as their wisdom stories.
Sometimes of course, they get frightened when they tell what they know. They don't often tell what they have inside them. So it feels hard to pull out the jewels and display them. I wish they would not be so frightened. Ordinary people carry the precious gems that make the most extraordinary ornaments.

If I had time to write the stories of each and every human being I met I would be exhausted. I have to try to simply take some section of their quilt and make a patch in my torn garment of writing.

The writing that grabs attention is not being written in newspapers and in the regular print media. I don't know why. Maybe in the writing of journalism there is a requirement for cleanliness that ensures that such sanitized writing no longer captures our hearts. Without capturing our hearts how can such writing be anything more than trite and dull lines that form a cereal meal--eaten and soon forgotten?

In every life there are some moments that seem to shine and rub out all the dreary that has gone on before. I try to find the shine in everyone I meet. I look at these ordinary people, struggling to do the right thing in a world that is all about protection and covering your butt. I wonder how these people who do the right thing despite all the odds, how they have turned away from the falseness of others and realized the ore inside them into nuggets that they then give out to others?

How are we to be in the world?
I would say we are to be who we are.
We are to say our small lessons and give to everyone we meet something real and nourishing rather than plastic and unsatisfying.

When ordinary people tell their stories, they sometimes are so afraid that they have to run away. They are running away from their own real experiences of their own lives.
We are all experienced in this matter of running away from our own lives.
It is hard to face the fragmented sections of life where illness and death are waiting like crows pecking out the eyes of road killed animals.
We shy away from these realities.
But if we stand before these events of our lives which are just as pure as birth, marriage, love and good health--if we face sickness, trouble and death in the same gallant way as we face the good times--I am sure we will be made stronger. And passing through such fire makes us even more deliciously beautiful than we were before in our unmined ore.
The joy of life is meeting such unmined ore as it goes through fire to become pure gold.  These ordinary people of the world.

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/120712849526/i-do-maintenance-in-the-housing-projects-i

“I do maintenance in the housing projects. I replace fixtures, do carpentry work, and fix electrical problems. I get a lot of joy from it. I love seeing how happy people get when they see that something is being done. My favorite is when I’ve fixed up an apartment for a new tenant. Sometimes the people moving in have been homeless, and they are so excited to have a home. The kids walk around the apartment with really big eyes, like: ‘We get to live here?’” 
5,623 NOTES - SHOW NOTES

And how’s that going to look? You’ve got to choose who you’re seen with. It’s a matter of optics.

Him:

 And how’s that going to look? 
You’ve got to choose who you’re seen with. 
It’s a matter of optics.

it's all a matter
of choosing the right people
to align yourself with

trust me
you have to have influential friends
people with power  

 And how’s that going to look? 
You’ve got to choose who you’re seen with. 
It’s a matter of optics.


Me:

as for me?
I'm a nobody
I talk to homeless people all the time

I don't worry how it looks
I'm a house mouse
my optics are all skewed anyway

I don't bother about power
and all that junk
I see everybody as the same


as for me?
I'm a nobody
I talk to homeless people all the time

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/129163857136/i-dont-have-anything-personally-against-homeless
“I don’t have anything personally against homeless people. But I try to avoid getting into conversations with them. Because I may be walking later with one of my influential friends, and the homeless person may come up to me and start acting like we’re friends. And how’s that going to look? You’ve got to choose who you’re seen with. It’s a matter of optics.” 
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He sounded very scared. He said: ‘Dad?’ Then the phone was disconnected.”

He sounded very scared. 
He said: ‘Dad?’ Then the phone was disconnected.” 
here are your terrorists
and infidels
here are the outsiders
and warriors
here are the ones
you are all afraid of
here are the people
you don't want to come to Canada
He sounded very scared. 
He said: ‘Dad?’ Then the phone was disconnected.” 



http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/130558815096/after-they-took-our-son-my-wife-was-so-weak-that
“After they took our son, my wife was so weak that she couldn’t get out of bed. For days I walked around Baghdad like a crazy man. I could not sleep. I walked from early in the morning to late at night. I thought maybe I’d recognize the car if I saw it again. Every day I picked a new neighborhood. I kept my phone in my hand hoping that someone would call. Every few seconds I’d check the screen. Soon I lost hope. I was sure that I’d lost my son. Then after one week an envelope came to the house with a phone number inside. I called the number and a man told me that he had my son. He said he wanted a large amount of money. He said if I called the police, my son would die. It took me twenty days to get the money together. I sold the house. I borrowed money from relatives. Days would pass between phone calls. I kept begging for more time. They kept changing SIM cards so I couldn’t call back. When I finally got the money, I told them I was ready to meet, but I demanded to speak to my son. I told them: ‘Please, I need to hear his voice. I need to hear his voice.’ Then suddenly I heard my son’s voice on the phone. He sounded very scared. He said: ‘Dad?’ Then the phone was disconnected.” (Hegyeshalom, Hungary)

(2/3) 
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But the pain and weakness brought me to a place where I felt completely alone. I got so weak that I couldn’t even formulate a thought. I dropped to 115 lbs. The pain got so bad that I felt like I’d swallowed a blowtorch. At one point I actually gave up

But the pain and weakness brought me to a place 
where I felt completely alone.
 I got so weak that I couldn’t even formulate a thought. 
I dropped to 115 lbs. The pain got so bad that I felt like I’d swallowed a blowtorch. 
At one point I actually gave up
what made me come back
was a voice
my mother's
I  hallucinated my mother’s voice calling my name.
 I heard it very distinctly.
I came back
how many times do you nearly die?
I guess as many times as it is required


http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/130991972286/before-my-bone-marrow-transplant-i-had-to-have
“Before my bone marrow transplant, I had to have my immune system completely wiped out with chemotherapy. I went into the hospital thinking that I was going to do a lot of reading and watch old movies and catch up on work. One thing that I didn’t fully anticipate was the isolation that I’d feel. I knew I’d be physically isolated. The doctors and nurses wore masks so all I could see were their eyes. And nobody touched me unless they were administering medicine. But the pain and weakness brought me to a place where I felt completely alone. I got so weak that I couldn’t even formulate a thought. I dropped to 115 lbs. The pain got so bad that I felt like I’d swallowed a blowtorch. At one point I actually gave up. I made everyone leave my room, even my partner, and I started slipping away. I hallucinated my mother’s voice calling my name. I heard it very distinctly. But when I opened my eyes– it was my nurse Jenny that was calling me. At the point of my greatest isolation, it was almost as if my mother used Jenny’s voice to call me back.”
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I want my son to have a different life than me-------but I can’t even help him with his homework. I don’t know my times tables or anything.”

I want my son to have a different life than me,
I don't want him to be beaten
I don't want him to be hungry
I want him to know love
I want him to have what I never had

how is it possible for a man
who has never been given
to be able still
to give?
but I can’t even help him with his homework. I don’t know my times tables or anything.”

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/131694075241/my-dad-left-us-at-a-very-young-age-and-my-mom
“My dad left us at a very young age and my mom didn’t know English. We never had anyone to help us with our homework. My stepfather beat us every day. Sometimes he’d whip us with extension cords. When I was thirteen, I threw a brick at him and broke one of his ribs so I had to run away. I moved into a crack house where they let you sleep there if you helped sell drugs. I live in the shelter now. I’ve spent over twenty years of my life in prison. I want my son to have a different life than me, but I can’t even help him with his homework. I don’t know my times tables or anything.”
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so technically I don’t exist.


so technically I don’t exist.
but here I am
I have a name
and a world
that I form
out of random acts
of decision

so technically I don’t exist.
I am at the boundaries of real
but here I am
my name is Paul Ambrose,
 I was born on July 4th, 1948, 
I grew up in Tennessee, and on the day 
Martin Luther King was killed


I came here
so technically I don’t exist.
the world swirls around me
as I keep going
anonymous  
unknown
and without identification


http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/131419838846/i-lost-my-id-twenty-years-ago-and-havent-been

“I lost my ID twenty years ago, and haven’t been able to get a new one, so technically I don’t exist. But for the record— I do exist, my name is Paul Ambrose, I was born on July 4th, 1948, I grew up in Tennessee, and on the day Martin Luther King was killed, I said ‘fuck this shit’ and bought a bus ticket to New York because it was $20 cheaper than a ticket to California.”
11,394 NOTES - SHOW NOTES

“He likes when I give him hugs.”


“He likes when I give him hugs.”
you never grow too big for a hug
luckily
http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/131054988141/he-likes-when-i-give-him-hugs

“He likes when I give him hugs.”

these candles------------------“What we really have in this system is a bunch of people covering their butts all the time, and it doesn’t put the clients’ needs first.”

now here are the words
that come flying
out of the darkness all about

they say their places
in the rain and I watch
as they form a path

these candles
that withstand the wind
and continue to burn

how bright they are!
how comforting
when I am alone

in the wilderness
I simply conjure up 
a poem to take me through hell


now here are the words
they accompany me
as I walk by myself

to the place
where I must say my case
I am not sure what my case is

I have never before
been sued (I did get a parking ticket once)
I believe this will be a new experience


let me practice courage
let me stand before the world
and speak     let me trust in myself and let me believe

that doing the right thing
is enough
let me believe that the truth will triumph


June 5, 2014 12:36 pm
Updated: June 5, 2014 7:06 pm

Confusion in Alberta continuing care: report

By Dean Bennett The Canadian Press
- A A +
EDMONTON – There is confusion, duplication, and questions over who’s accountable for what in Alberta’s continuing care system, the province’s health watchdog reported Thursday.
Charlene McBrien-Morrison, executive director of the Health Quality Council of Alberta, told a news conference in Calgary that there is confusion not only among the providers, but within them as well.

RELATED

“Quality and safety management in continuing care lacks clarity in roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities among the Ministry of Health, Alberta Health Services, and contracted providers,” said McBrien-Morrison.
“Within Alberta Health Services alone there is a similar lack of clarity regarding roles and responsibilities in continuing care.”
She spelled out problems in a number of areas, starting with no standardized system for handing out contracts to service providers.
She said the province needs to put all contracts under one master template and that “Alberta Health Services make explicit where the responsibility and accountability for continuing care contract compliance monitoring and oversight resides.”
She said the current audit system needs work.
“There are duplication of auditing processes, audits and standards often overlap or address the same issues, and there are many, many types of audits,” she said.
She said the system is also hampered by a crazy quilt of multiple surveys and questionnaires to gauge feedback from those who use the system.
“It makes it difficult to consistently assess the client and family experience,” she said.
There is also no centralized system to record and track safety issues, she said.
“This significantly impacts the ability of the continuing care system to identify and analyze safety issues.”
Health Minister Fred Horne, at a news conference in Edmonton, said he accepts all the recommendations and has begun acting on them.
“We will require in Alberta all continuing care facilities and home care providers to meet nationally accredited health care standards,” said Horne.
Horne said a number of facilities already meet those standards, but said in the past it wasn’t mandatory. He said his department will immediately take over monitoring to ensure quality care.
In a separate report, the council also said that those who need the care should have some degree of choice in determining the option that’s best for them.
The government has been criticized for forcibly separating married seniors by placing them in distant care centres under a first available bed policy.
Critics labelled the policy cruel, calling it “divorce by nursing home.”
The province is promising changes to work with the patients and their families to get patients into the closest available bed in their home community and keep couples together whenever possible.
Horne’s department is responsible for health policy while AHS handles day-to-day health care delivery.
AHS was created in 2008 to replace all regional health boards on the philosophy that centralized management would reduce waste and duplication, save money, and improve service.
However, AHS has struggled with wait times, faced accusations of doctors being abused by administrators, and frequent staff turnover at the executive level.
The NDP and Wildrose parties said everyday Albertans are reaping the confusion sown by Horne and the creation of AHS.
“They created a system where they put layers and layers and layers upon layers of bureaucracy, and nobody is talking to each other,” said Wildrose critic Kerry Towle.
“What we really have in this system is a bunch of people covering their butts all the time, and it doesn’t put the clients’ needs first.”
NDP critic David Eggen said centralizing health regions without carving out lines of authority has actually worsened health care.
“Alberta Health Services has been a failed experiment and very expensive,” said Eggen.
“It seems like everyone’s responsible, and no one’s responsible.”








Edmonton family speaks out after eviction from Good Samaritan home

'You've essentially got people in care who are second-class citizens' sister says

CBC News Posted: Mar 25, 2015 7:43 AM MT Last Updated: Mar 25, 2015 1:20 PM MT
Sue Ali spoke about the plight of her sister, who was evicted from an Edmonton care facility, at a news conference held Tuesday by Public Interest Alberta.
Sue Ali spoke about the plight of her sister, who was evicted from an Edmonton care facility, at a news conference held Tuesday by Public Interest Alberta. (CBC)
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An Edmonton family is speaking out about a local care facility, even though they say that's what got them into trouble in the first place.
The family said Rebecca Ali was evicted from her care facility after her sister publicly questioned the quality of care she was receiving.
Ali lived for the past five years at the Good Samaritan Mill Woods Care Centre.
But she was transferred on Feb. 19 to the Grey Nuns Hospital without her family’s knowledge.
Sue Ali said it happened after another sister, Julie, wrote a blog post online that criticized Good Samaritan about faulty equipment and incompetent care Rebecca had received.
The family said it only learned Rebecca had been moved when a voicemail was left on the phone, after the transfer had already happened.
“A later call revealed that the primary cause was Julie’s blog,” Sue Ali told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.
“You just can't believe it,” she said. “I still sometimes still think, how is this possible? Because you've essentially got people in care who are second-class citizens."
Sue Ali said the family has spoken to Alberta Health Services, to the Good Samaritan board, and reached out to government MLAs, all in an attempt to resolve the issue.
“We’ve been waiting weeks without any word,” she said. “A quick call from the health minister could quickly and fairly resolve the matter, and free up an acute-care bed that runs $1,200 a day. Inaction has cost the public something in the order of $40,000 to date.”.
Health Minister Stephen Mandel said the case is complicated and has no easy solution.
"AHS and private facilities, all of them need to be able to ensure the safety of people who live there and caregivers, and they're working with the situation trying to resolve it.”
Public Interest Alberta has taken on the family’s case, and said it will raise the issue at a meeting with the health minister on Wednesday
“Other families have come forward with their powerful stories of what it feels like to be banned from a facility, and then not to have any due process to resolve that banning,” said Bill Moore Kilgannon, executive director of Public Interest Alberta.
The family wants the government to create an appeal process for bans and evictions like this one.
In a letter, Good Samaritan said Rebecca Ali needs more care than it can provide and insisted she was sent to the hospital for assessment based on the family's allegations.
Alberta Health Services said it believes it has now found an alternative placement and it will continue to work with the family to resolve the issue.


  • 30 Comments
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opinion40
  • opinion40
The Protection for Persons in Care Act should apply. As a sudden and unexplained move, without notification to family, is an abuse of the vulnerability of the patient/client who is without choice or option. Not all bruises are visible on the body and the act is clear as to the definition of the kind and quality of trauma which constitutes abuse. I retired from nursing this September as I no longer could in good conscience allow myself to be associated either professionally or personally with the health care system and its a abuses, carpet sweeping, contrivances, woefully misguided interpretations of standards and policies, and the absolute heracy of managers who spend more time finding ways to cover up or not provide care than actually doing their job! The reputation and integrity of all who work under and within the system is in jeopardy. When an employee speaks out, even within the system or professionally advocates for the application of a standard, we too are bullied, labelled and 'pushed out'!


Health care is NOT client centred, rather adversarial and systemically rife with silos of protectionism.« less
  • 7 months ago
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prairiecentrist
  • prairiecentrist
@opinion40


I bet you were one heck of a nurse ....


I do feel for the nurses trying their best every shift to provide the highest level of professional care despite the barriers from health care mismanagement.
  • 7 months ago
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joel69
  • joel69
@opinion40 I agree. And after life-saving surgery at Foothills , I got discharged(given the bum's rush)after 6 days to make the bed available ; only to return for a month because of an infection !
  • 7 months ago
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LarryMorningstar
  • LarryMorningstar
Not to worry everybody - STEPHEN MANDEL is on the case!
  • 7 months ago
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Thomas77
  • Thomas77
@LarryMorningstar


"Health Minister Stephen Mandel said the case is complicated and has no easy solution"


It seems like he's already fallen flat on his face! I don't have high hopes for this...
  • 7 months ago
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Ivan Wilson 25
  • Ivan Wilson 25
Her sister should put her in full-private care if she does not "like" the standards at the Good Samaritan Mill Woods Care Centre - which is a VERY good care centre.
  • 7 months ago
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prairiecentrist
  • prairiecentrist
@Ivan Wilson 25


That may or may not be the case, but people certainly have a right to speak up about the care they are receiving if there is a problem. Obviously, there was some sort of issue. Residents and their families should not be muted or fear being evicted if they dare speak up about a problem. Perhaps they tried to speak up in private to no avail and decided to go publi?


Is this care centre one of the companies that doesn’t want to open up their books for audit: wherever public health monies are administered, the government should be able to follow the money to review if it is used appropriately or not.« less
  • 7 months ago
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prairiecentrist
  • prairiecentrist
@prairiecentrist


public not publi..... I miss the edit button CBC
  • 7 months ago
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alberta303
  • alberta303
@prairiecentrist Many families threaten lawsuits and try to intimidate nurses to jump the queue or get special treatment. I know many people who work in care homes and from stories they tell I would side with the nurses and facility before this family.
  • 7 months ago
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prairiecentrist
  • prairiecentrist
@alberta303


Many residents and families are fed up with substandard treatment that does not reflect the monthly costs that they are paying. Care homes use staffing ratios that push the limit on safety, period. I know. I was an RN (BScN) and I worked as a nursing aide while training. I have a friend whose wheelchair bound father has been injured recently by falling while trying to get to the toilet because the limited staff on the unit were too busy to help him. What a horrible position our... » more
  • 7 months ago
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Jeans5
  • Jeans5
@prairiecentrist Glad you spoke about the staffing ratios. 2 care aides to feed and put to bed 40 elderly is insufficient staffing. 30 minutes from the time the food is served until the dishes are picked up (finished or not) is also not enough time. This was a huge problem 10 years ago. I am certain that it has not improved.
  • 7 months ago
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T-BONE
  • T-BONE
@alberta303
you sound like management from one of these private (in business to make money not care) facilities, i'd like to see how supportive you are when one of your loved ones are being treated less then human
  • 7 months ago
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Kelley M
  • Kelley M
@alberta303 - Work in the medical industry and see things for what they are most times and all I can say is many health care professionals are far from professional. In many cases, not all but many, $$$ comes before patient care. Sad but true.
  • 7 months ago
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man_u
  • man_u
@Ivan Wilson 25...easier said than done...hope you don't ever have to go through what this family has gone through...this happened with us in Red Deer to my sister..I could write a book on what goes on in nursing homes and hospitals, it would make your skin crawl.
  • 7 months ago
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alberta303
  • alberta303
Well, if you use blogs and other tactics to intimidate the nurses and other staff what do you expect? I'm positive there are two sides to this story, i feel as though this is just the system kicking back a bit.
  • 7 months ago
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familia
  • familia
Mandel say it is complicated, No, Mandel it is simple, fix the problem, the buck stops with you. If you are incapable of solving the problem, resign and let a competent person take over.
  • 7 months ago
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Azon27
  • Azon27
No free speech in Canada. So much for government-run health care, where your life is left up to whether some bureaucrat can be convinced to act on your behalf. That's the definition of scary.
  • 7 months ago
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WhatsRedandWhite
  • WhatsRedandWhite
Don't bite the hand that feeds you even if its crumbs
  • 7 months ago
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just1more
  • just1more
@Populus tremuloides Everyone has a right to be treated fairly.
  • 7 months ago
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WhatsRedandWhite
  • WhatsRedandWhite
@just1more - I agree but we are at the mercy of health care and change will only come when the system lid is blown off the pot- the business side of health care is killing the system and the quality of care
  • 7 months ago
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Thomas77
  • Thomas77
@Populus tremuloides you've captured Alberta's health system in a nut-shell! AHS should adopt your comment as it's motto!
  • 7 months ago
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Jeans5
  • Jeans5
If the Ali family was unhappy to the extent that they would post a blog about the Care Home, one can hardly blame the home for moving their family member into the hospital. I would not want to help someone whose family did not come to the administration first. To think that the Health Minister has nothing better to do than to make a "quick call" is terribly "entitled", I think. After Mrs. Ali was moved into the hospital, her bed was likely quickly filled by another leaving no place for her to return.« less
  • 7 months ago
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Crystal
  • Crystal
I hope that the writing of a blog was not the first course of action to receive better treatment for this individual.
  • 7 months ago
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Fernhill
  • Fernhill
Moving the vulnerable person in care without informing their next of kin, is abusive - they dumped this lady at the hospital - the every member of the Good Samaritan board and the manager that made this decision, and the person that put this lady on the ambulance to transfer her should all individually be charged with abuse. Once they face a **personal** consequence for their execrable behaviour towards a vulnerable elder, they may change their ways. No amount of investigation of a corporation... » more
  • 7 months ago
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QuestCo
  • QuestCo
@Fernhill I agree. Well articulated. I think the idea that the AHS is a corporation is what the conservatives go to town with. highly paid CEO's. etc.
  • 7 months ago
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alanmac
  • alanmac
Confucius say, "Nail that stand tallest get hammered first".
  • 7 months ago
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leepulig
  • leepulig
If you can't solve the problem, you don't have the capability of running a health portfolio. honour the position and resign. there are many who know how to handle and solve the problems.
  • 7 months ago
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alphaomego
  • alphaomego
"Health Minister Stephen Mandel said the case is complicated and has no easy solution."


This is shameful response by Mandel.


Or did Prentice (like Harper) pass a bill absolving Ministers from accepting responsibility for everything that happens within their departments?


If, after this length of time, 'this' response is the best that Mandel can come up with, he, too, should RESIGN.
  • 7 months ago
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cerea
  • cerea
Private companies are out to make money, that is their job, whether moral or legal. AHS who appears to have a money tree for the higher ups. With government there is no accounting or responsibility to the public and for a job not well done. Both systems are extremely flawed. And of course no one can care for our families like we can or think we can.
  • 7 months ago
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loretta
  • loretta
we can all comment on what we read but lets get to the truth there must be more to this story things we haven read about or hear so lets not judge until we get the truth. I mean the real truth, and what does the rest of the family have to say about this am sure there is a mother and a father what's their view on this. The Good Samaritan has being around for many years and with in good standing so think about this carefully.


March 24, 2015 1:54 pm

Woman evicted from care home without family consent: Public Interest Alberta

By Staff The Canadian Press
Woman evicted from care home without family consent: Public
Interest Alberta
Woman evicted from care home without family consent: Public Interest Alberta
File / Global News
- A A +
EDMONTON — An advocacy group is accusing an Edmonton care home of transferring a woman to a hospital without her family’s consent.
Public Interest Alberta says the Good Samaritan Millwoods Care Centre left a voice mail for the woman’s sister and banned another family member from the facility for complaining about the quality of care.
Bill Moore-Kilgannon, a spokesman for Public Interest Alberta, says institutions should not be allowed to arbitrarily evict patients and ban relatives.
He wants Alberta Health Services to make sure the woman is allowed to return to the Millwoods care centre, where she has lived for five years.
Alberta Health Services says it will work with the family to determine what’s best for the woman, other residents and staff.
The health agency says there are rules at care homes that everyone must follow.


People banned from visiting family in hospital demand provincial help

PAIGE PARSONS, EDMONTON JOURNAL  09.09.2015
People banned from visiting family in hospital demand provincial help
Julie Ali, left, and her sister Sue said they are experiencing 'retribution' after complaining about the quality of their sister's care in a Good Samaritan Society longterm care facility.
PAIGE PARSONS / EDMONTON JOURNAL
An Edmonton woman says she is facing “retribution” in the form of a defamation lawsuit for speaking out about concerns she has about the quality of care her sister was receiving in a long-term care facility.
Julie Ali said her sister Rebecca Lee was evicted from the Good Samaritan Mill Woods Centre in February 2015. Rebecca, 50, suffers from various respiratory conditions. Ali said after raising concerns about care her sister was receiving, she was banned from the property and her sister was evicted. Since then, Rebecca has been lodged at Grey Nuns Community Hospital.
Ali said she is now being sued for defamation for writing about the experience on her blog.
“Why am I a threat to the Good Sam? … I’m not a threat, I’m not a newspaper,” she said.
Now Ali wants the NDP government to intervene to prevent health-care facilities from visiting what they describe as “retribution” on family members of patients for complaining about care.
Ali said it’s critical that family members are able to advocate for their loved ones without fearing repercussions, legal or otherwise.
“My sister can’t do this kind of stuff. I have to speak for her,” she said.
A spokesperson from the Good Samaritan Society was not available Wednesday afternoon.
Ali spoke to media at an event hosted by Elder Advocates of Alberta Society and was joined by several others who said they’ve experienced similar problems of being banned from visiting loved ones or having their family members evicted from care facilities..
Among those attending was Shauna McHarg, who made headlines last year for her efforts to compel Covenant Health to share documents that explain why she had been banned in the past and now has restricted visitation hours to see her parents.
In a precedent-setting decision that went against McHarg, Alberta’s Court of Queen’s Bench ruled the province’s Health Information Act protects any information broadly connected to a patient’s care, even if that information is about another person.
McHarg’s parents are both residents at the Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre.
She said she also tried to access the information through a freedom of information request, but said she was told by Alberta Health Services in June 2015 that the records had been shredded.
Covenant Health said Wednesday that it is extremely rare to restrict a family member from visiting unless it is a case where a resident’s well-being is compromised. Spokeswoman Rayne Kuntz said the parents’ agent is McHarg’s sister and that she is in agreement with conditions on McHarg’s visitation.
“Shauna is able to visit her mother and her father under the current visitation conditions,” Kuntz wrote in an email. “Both Covenant Health and the agent have provided reasons for the visitation conditions to Shauna previously.”
McHarg said she has sought a meeting with Health Minister Sarah Hoffman to discuss her concerns, while Ali has reached out to her MLA.
pparsons@edmontonjournal.com
Anita Rudichuk
Families continue to be punished when advocating for better care and treatment of loved ones in health care facilities. And this problem is more widespread than we would think...


We met these sisters and many other families at the press conference yesterday. Many families have been banned, threatened and are suffering from retribution for speaking up because they all believe their loved ones deserve to receive quality care. Is that too much to ask from our health care system?


The common thread in our conversations together is that people can't fathom all the wrong doing that is occurring within the system that is intended to care for the sick and vulnerable. It's only when you unfortunately find yourself in such an unfortunate situation that you really understand the manipulative games and tactics that are being used against you.


Before other families go through such devastating circumstances, can we stand up together and make a difference?
Leevi Sternhagen
Anita you are bang on. This is exactly what I wanted to say after experiencing these facilities first hand. Over the years we met some wonderful staff; however, we also met a large number of uncaring, incompetant and incompasionate staff. Often, when we complained about living conditions or patient treatment, the issues would be swept under the rug, ignored, and the family would feel bullied or stuck. Our family members care definately suffered after complaining. Thankfully, a complete turnover of staff helped our situation, however we were the lucky ones. The conditions, treatment of the patients, and treatment of family in our facilities is horendous and should be unacceptable in a country such as Canada. The negative attitudes are so wide spread , a complete overhul of our system is need, sadly i don't see this happening.
Like · Reply · 1 · 10 September 2015 23:06 · Edited

Health watchdog ranks Alberta long-term care centres

Published on: October 28, 2015 | Last Updated: October 28, 2015 8:44 PM MDT
Long-term care across the province has improved little over the last five years, as concerns around staffing levels, timely help and supervision continue to be raised by families, according to a new survey released by the Health Quality Council of Alberta.
Long-term care across the province has improved little over the last five years, as concerns around staffing levels, timely help and supervision continue to be raised by families, according to a new survey released by the Health Quality Council of Alberta. COLLEEN KIDD /CALGARY HERALD
Long-term care across the province has improved little over the last five years, as concerns around staffing levels, timely help and supervision continue to be raised by families, according to a new survey released by the Health Quality Council of Alberta.
For the first time, the health-care watchdog also provided ratings on individual facilities, in hopes making the data public will spur improvements.
Most of the Edmonton zone’s 36 long-term care facilities — whether run by Alberta Health Services, privately owned or non-profit — scored well in terms of “global overall care,” with all facilities except for Good Samaritan Mill Woods achieving at least 7.1 out 10.0.  The Mill Woods facility received a score of 6.3.
Ability to meet basic needs also earned mostly high scores across the board, ranging from 72.2 out of 100 at Edmonton Chinatown Care Centre to 98 out of 100 at CapitalCare Norwood. Good Samaritan Mill Woods was also the lowest rated in this category, at 61.9 out of 100.
When it came to food quality and variety, several facilities scored below 70 out of 100, with Edmonton General Continuing Care Centre scoring the worst at 57.
“It’s interesting because you may see a facility with a high score in one area, and then scoring poorly in another,” said council chief executive officer Andrew Neuner, adding that smaller facilities run by AHS tended to have higher scores on average.
Andrew Neuner, chief executive officer for the Health Quality Council of Alberta.
Andrew Neuner, chief executive officer for the Health Quality Council of Alberta.SUPPLIED, HQCA
The lowest-ranked Edmonton centre, Good Samaritan Mill Woods Care Centre, has been embroiled in a conflict with the family of a resident who was transferred to a hospital without their consent. The family alleges the move is connected to them voicing concerns about the quality of the resident’s care.
Good Samaritan Society spokeswoman Julie Williams said her organization hadn’t yet had an opportunity to review all the information presented in the report, but said the non-profit is committed to providing safe, comfortable and caring communities.
“It is important to note that this survey was completed in March 2014 and January 2015, and since then we have taken several additional steps to ensure that we are providing quality care and quality accommodations to our residents,” Williams said in an emailed statement.
Williams added that in recent months the society has spent $8 million on improvements to care facilities in Alberta and British Columbia. She said $700,000 was spent on the Mill Woods facility, replacing the nurse call system, renovating rooms and replacing equipment such as slings. A plan to install ceiling lifts in all of the rooms at Mill Woods is also underway.
Neuner said while most facilities scored well in a variety of areas — including meeting basic needs, kindness and food quality — not much has changed or improved since the survey was done in 2010.
“These are important questions that Alberta Health Services needs to address,” he said. “Funding is consistent across the board, yet we’re still seeing some facilities scoring well, and others not as well.
“If I was responsible for a facility that scored low in some areas, I would go and visit the ones that are scoring well in those same areas.”
Families surveyed said staffing levels were the most strongly recommended area for improvement, with most people saying staff were good, there just weren’t enough of them.
Family members suggested facilities need to do a better job of reviewing staff needs, increasing permanent front-line staff and offering volunteers the opportunity to help with basic tasks such as providing companionship, engaging in activities and helping with eating.
Neuner said staffing levels also continue to be a concern because funding isn’t meeting need.
In the provincial budget released this week, the NDP added $816 million to the health-care budget proposed by its Tory predecessors last March. But the government failed to honour a pledge to increase spending on long-term care and home care by $70 million annually.
The council mailed out surveys in March 2014 and January 2015, to which about 7,900 family members responded either by return mail or online, and data was gathered on 160 of the province’s 166 long-term care facilities.
I am glad see this report recognizes the poor care many are receiving. We have witnessed the care at the Good Samaritan Mill Woods Centre. Our family member was taken to the hospital by ambulance when she receied no attention when requesting help. We have seen people sitting waiting to be feed her meals, and may not get help and meanwhile the food is getting cold or staff leaving into the middle of the meal because their shift is over and no one to continue. I hope this report will bring about the changes that are necessary to improve the care these people need are recieving.

I would like to know why we have more casual staff and less permanet staff. i know of one casual that is working 17 days with no break. and in that 17 days she has worked several double shifts. if you have to hire casual that often tells me there should e more permanet positions offered. It is also very hard for residents to cope with this kind of situation. so please someone look into this.

Ratings released for long-term care facilities


BY CATHERINE GRIWKOWSKY, EDMONTON SUN
FIRST POSTED: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2015 04:39 PM MDT | UPDATED: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2015 05:30 PM MDT
Good Samaritan Millwoods Centre Good Samaritan Mill Woods Centre is seen at 101 Youville Drive East in Edmonton, Alta., on Wednesday October 28, 2015. The long term care facility survey found the centre was the lowest rated in the province. Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun/Postmedia Network
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Long term care facilities in Edmonton included the lowest and highest rated facilities in the province.
In a survey from the Health Quality Council of Alberta, the average scores of most facilities haven't changed significantly. The lowest rated long-term care facility was the Good Samaritan Mill Woods Centre with a mean rating of 6.3, while the Devon General Hospital had a median rating of 10. The provincial mean was 8.3 out of 10.
"Albertans are encouraged to use the report as one of many tools to help inform them about the quality and safety of the facility where their family member is transitioning to or currently lives," said Andrew Neuner, Chief Executive Officer, HQCA. "It's important to note that other factors and information are available and play an equally relevant role in contributing to understanding and improving quality and safety. The HQCA's report can help the facilities determine where to focus their quality improvement efforts to best meet the needs of their own residents and families."
Families rated smaller facilities higher than larger ones.
Provincially, families surveyed recommended more staff, timely help and supervision with basic needs such as eating and bathing, cleaner and better maintained facilities, access to other healthcare services such as physiotherapy and quality, varied and nutritious food.
Staffing levels, care of belongings and environment was rated the most important dimension in the survey with a score provincially of 73.6 out of 100. Individual facilities ranged from 52.9 to 94.4 out of 100.
"The HQCA thanks families who participated in this survey for their valuable insight into what is working well and what can be improved in Alberta's long term care facilities," says Dr. Tony Fields, Board Chair, HQCA. "This information can be used to start conversations between facilities, family members of residents, the public, Alberta Health Services, and government about the quality and safety of care and services in long term care."
The survey was taken in March 2014 and January 2015 in collaboration with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services throughout 160 of the province's 166 long-term care facilities.
catherine.griwkowsky@sunmedia.ca
@SunGriwkowskyC


Health Quality Council of Alberta area rankings based on Long Term Care Family Experience Survey:
Top Five:
1) Devon General Hospital -- 10.0
2) WestView Care Community (Linden, AB) -- 9.6
3) Consort Hospital and Care Centre -- 9.6
4) Sundre Hospital and Care Centre -- 9.6
5) Galahad (AB) Care Centre -- 9.5
Bottom Five:
1) Good Samaritan Mill Woods Centre -- 6.3
2) Good Samaritan Dr. Gerald Zetter Care Centre (Edmonton) -- 7.1
3) La Crete Continuing Care -- 7.3 / Edmonton Chinatown Care Centre -- 7.3
4) William J. Cadzow/Lac La Biche Healthcare Centre -- 7.4 / Points West Living Grande Prairie -- 7.4 / Clearwater Centre -- 7.4 / Rivercrest Care Centre (Fort Saskatchewan) -- 7.4
5) Bethany Sylvan Lake -- 7.5 / Wainwright Health Centre -- 7.5

Long Term Care Family Experience Survey

The HQCA conducts surveys with family members of residents in long-term care facilities across Alberta, which is an integral part of our mandate to measure, monitor, and report to Albertans about their experience and satisfaction with the quality of health services they receive. The information we collect and analyze is shared with each long term care facility, Alberta Health Services and the government to help inform future improvements.
In March 2014 and January 2015 the HQCA conducted its third long term care family experience survey. The results of previous surveys, conducted in 2010 and 2007, are available using the left navigation on this page.

2014-15 Infographic

A snapshot of the 2014-15 provincial report results.More →

2014-15 Fact Sheet

Survey report highlights and fast facts are available here. More →

2014-15 Survey Report - Provincial Results

In 2014-15 the HQCA conducted a third family experience survey with 160 long term care facilities in Alberta. Full results, including individual survey results, can be found here. More →


Patient care comes first: AHS President Vickie Kaminski


FIRST POSTED: SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2015 02:00 PM MST | UPDATED: TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2015 03:23 PM MST
Vickie KaminskiVickie Kaminski, Alberta Health Services president and CEO. (Codie McLachlan/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency)
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Vickie Kaminski; AHS President and CEO
Edmonton Sun letter to editor/guest column:
Alberta Health Services (AHS) periodically finds itself on the receiving end of criticism for its size and the fact 30 per cent of the provincial government’s annual operating budget is allocated to health care supports and services.
Typically, our critics claim AHS has top-heavy administration and wastes valuable taxpayer dollars on areas not directly benefiting patient care.Such was the case with a recent column by Lorne Gunter.
But the facts tell a different story.
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Alberta is tied with British Columbia for lowest percentage of health care expenses spent on administration in Canada, at 3.6 per cent. When it comes to directing health dollars toward patient care, no province does more than Alberta.
To suggest that AHS could save at least $3 billion by rolling back administrative costs to what they were in 2005 is false. Returning to a time when there were 12 separate health entities with 12 separate administrative functions will not result in such costs savings. The fact is the move to one board has saved taxpayers approximately $600 million in administrative costs upon amalgamation.
Let’s look at another fact.
AHS does not spend $3 billion annually on administration; our total administration expenditure is about one-sixth that amount. Managers only make up three per cent of our AHS workforce – that includes the lowest-level manager right up to the executive leadership team, including the President and CEO.
AHS has not spent 70 per cent of its new funding on bureaucrats. In fact, in the current fiscal year to date, clinical-focused staff represents 90 per cent of workforce growth.
Our best-in-Canada ranking for administration costs has been achieved through cost containment measures that date back to the formation of AHS, when the organization saved hundreds of millions of dollars by consolidating corporate functions and reducing the number of senior management.
We have never stopped looking for ways to save administration costs that can be reinvested into patient care.
In the last two years, for instance, AHS has:
Reduced the number of vice president positions from 80 to 11.
Eliminated variable, incentive-based pay.
Restructured our compensation for senior leadership and non-unionized staff based on the median of the public health care sector market. That means our leaders and staff are neither the highest paid in the country nor the lowest; our salaries fall somewhere in the middle.
The cost containment measures I recently announced represent AHS’ latest efforts to ensure the vast majority of taxpayer dollars we receive are spent on patient care and are only the beginning of the work we are doing.
Suggestions AHS budgets for patient care as an “afterthought” is, at best, an unfair assessment of what is occurring at every level of the organization as staff work to manage costs in the current fiscal environment with an absolute minimal impact on direct patient care.
AHS is the largest health care organization compared to its counterparts in other areas of the country. We are a provincial organization, and more than four million Albertans are receiving some of the finest health care supports and services available in Canada.
Health care in Alberta is good, often excellent and, in some areas, world-leading. And yes, in other areas there is room for us to improve.
You are more likely to survive a heart attack in Alberta than almost anywhere else in the country. People survive strokes in Alberta at a rate well above the national rate. Our researchers and clinicians develop approaches and protocols that are picked up internationally as the best practices available anywhere. And more than almost every other province in the country, Albertans rate their own perceived health as excellent or very good, while the number of Albertans satisfied with health care services continues to rise, according to a Health Quality Council of Alberta survey.
Are there areas we can improve? Of course there are. We need to address the issues facing our emergency departments; we need to address access to continuing care beds; and, we need improve our wait times for back surgeries – to name a few. But we’re working on making improvements in those areas.
I expect that over the next several months we will be talking more about health care spending. You will hear about initiatives we are taking to change the cost curve for health care expenditures.
And, as always, our first commitment will be to the highest quality, safe patient care across the organization and to the staff providing that care.
It’s an issue near and dear to all of us. And as I said recently, AHS does have work to do to ensure we spend each taxpayer dollar we receive appropriately. We do have to work at being more efficient and effective in how we use our human and financial resources.
But let’s get the facts right and have a constructive conversation.
Sincerely,
Vickie Kaminski
AHS President and CEO