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LETHBRIDGE – Today, NDP leader Rachel Notley announced that if elected her government would create 2,000 long-term care beds throughout the province.

“While more long-term care beds are sorely needed in Alberta, they can’t continue to be funded by taxpayer dollars and delivered by private, for-profit providers more focused on revenues than providing quality care,” said Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Vice-President Susan Slade.

“The NDP knows public long-term care spaces provide the best care possible to seniors and residents. That’s why in its 2015 election platform, it promised to create 2,000 public long-term care beds over four years.

“The party also called out the former PC government for its ‘costly experiments in privatization’ and called for funds to be redirected to publicly delivered services in that same platform.

“Unfortunately, the private long-term care experiments have continued since 2015 and today we’re seeing ‘public’ completely removed from the NDP’s 2,000 long-term care beds promise,” said Slade.

Data from a 2016 Parkland Institute report identified publicly operated facilities provide better quality services with more daily direct care delivered to residents compared to private, for-profit facilities.

That same study also indicated public facilities invest an average of 20-per-cent more on front-line care.

AUPE and its more than 95,000 members are asking the NDP to recommit to a promise it was elected on in 2015, and ensure any new long-term care beds in Alberta are publicly funded and operated,” Slade said.

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees will continue to push all political parties to support and invest in publicly funded and delivered health care throughout the election campaign, and after.

AUPE is Alberta’s largest union with more than 95,000 members province-wide. More than half work in health care, including long-term care.

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For more information:

Tyler Bedford, AUPE senior communications officer: 780-298-7626