News | July 09, 2013

By Jeremy Lye, iNews880The advocacy group "Public Interest Alberta" is calling on Health Minister Fred Horne to reverse changes to home care, as Alberta Health Services moves to replace existing contracts with privatised care.According to the chair of Public Interest Alberta's Seniors Task Force, that has many care workers, and the patients who depend on them, voicing concerns they've been left in the dark while the government has yet to reveal the full details of the transition.Noel Somerville says the AHS has already imposed a reduction in the amount of time care workers can spend with their clients."These private companies are now out trying to hire the displaced home care workers at forty to fifty percent of their former salaries," Somerville says."They're trying to hire them with little or no benefits. They're trying to get out of having to pay them travel money to do their job," he says.Somerville says instead, home care has to be both community-based and fully integrated with the health-care system."And neither of these is possible when you turn it over to corporations who operate in total secrecy. We can't even see the contracts under which they've been hired. And they're all being paid by public money without any accountability, ever," he says.A spokesperson for the AHS says a patient's care shouldn't be affected during the transition period, as that care is regulated under contract.Read the article at INews880.

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