Blog | March 25, 2015

From CBC News

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.

Read the article on the CBC News website.