Telegraph Journal – Letter to the Editor

From this mornings Telegraph Journal Letter to the Editor section:

Most New Brunswickers would be shocked to learn that senior care is going to potentially cost them tens of thousands of dollars annually. The Alward government, in May 2012,changed its senior-care policy, eliminating both choice and financial subsidy to acute-care seniors entering long-term care, effectively reducing access to long term care.

The plot, woven by the Department of Social Development, is unacceptable. Acute care seniors with healthy minds are now excluded from receiving the subsidy at specialized care homes. Since 2012 only seniors that have dementia qualify for the provincial subsidy.

My mother is 83, a dialysis patient and has advanced macular degeneration. Last spring she fell, breaking her hip and elbow necessitating a move to long-term care. Two large nursing homes in Moncton both had long waiting lists and were refusing to accept dialysis patients.

Therefore the only options were; mom having to stay on the Georges Dumont Hospital’s dialysis ward for a wait of one to two years or seek out the department’s 100 per cent private pay options.

Returning to the pre-May 2012 system, which was a resounding success, constitutes a win for the general public, as they would have the certainty of a shared-cost model with specialized care homes as a viable option. The province wins as specialized care homes can deliver an equally serviced bed at a minimum 50 per cent cost savings versus the large nursing homes. These savings constitute a verifiable windfall. Every taxpayer in the province should be upset over the department’s misappropriation of tax dollars.

Over 90 per cent of the provincial Conservative caucus is fully versed in the financial devastation of this policy and the social injustices.The MLAs are being stonewalled by the department. I encourage everyone to visit New Brunswickers are making this an election issue.

Mark Mattison

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