Published On: Wed, Feb 4th, 2015

Bed Shortages, Abuses, Give Canadian Health Minister Stephen Mandel Headaches


Health minister Stephen Mandel has his work cut out for him as complaints rise in Alberta over crowded beds in hospitals and abuses in long-term care. The emergency situation is most acute in Edmonton, as new care spaces are being opened. Medical professionals at the Misericordia Hospital and the Sturgeon Community hospital raised complaints about lack of staff and spaces for patients.

Spokesman for Stephen Mandel, Steve Buick, told the Edmonton Journal, “The system is complex, but the issue ought to be fixable. We ought to be able to open enough continuing care beds, including enough long-term beds … to enable people to move out of hospital as soon as it’s appropriate.”

Around 400 beds were opened for continuing and long-term care in October, but apparently, more are needed. The Canadian economy has been adversely affected by falling oil prices, but Mandel said additional cuts are not going to come from the healthcare budget. Meanwhile, many patients requiring long-term care are stuck in hospital beds.

When patients manage to find care facilities, there are stories of abuses. Susan Carter told CBC of the mistreatment of her 89 year old mother who was thrown out of her bed onto the floor at the Kipnes Center for Veterans. Representatives of the facility tried to claim she had fallen out of her bed, but the incident was caught on camera. In addition, a worker is shown berating the elderly woman as sh is being commanded to stand up. Stephen Mandel called the footage, “very distressing, ” and say she is setting up an oversight agency to ensure quality care standards are met, according to CBC.

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