Blog | October 18, 2013

Re: “Home-care model stirs headaches,” by Paula Simons, Commentary, Oct. 10.Competitive free markets have provided a huge range of consumer goods through sophisticated production and assembly techniques.Unfortunately, no sophisticated techniques can be applied to looking after cognitively impaired, severely injured or profoundly frail people. It requires skill, care and compassion.This distinction is lost on Alberta Health Services and Health Minister Fred Horne, who authorized monopoly contracts in geographic zones to national and multinational corporations to take over home care from providers who were already poorly paid and whose time with patients had been cut.The concept of consumer choice was lost.To maximize returns to shareholders, these corporations further cut wages, travel costs and benefits and hired the cheapest workers they could find. The resulting fiasco was inevitable.Horne signed off on the contracts and should be the one who apologizes. And he should restore some order to the chaos in home care.Noel Somerville, EdmontonRead the letter online at the Edmonton Journal.