Premier Kenney, Health Minister Shandro outline $200M increase in funding for continuing care

CALGARY — Premier Jason Kenney, Health Minister Tyler Shandro and other officials outlined health-care spending in the recently announced provincial budget which they say will improve services for seniors and vulnerable Albertans.

Along with $1.25 billion in one-time COVID-19 funding, Kenney said 2021 budget includes more than $3.5 billion for continuing care programs, an increase of more than $200 million, or six per cent, over last year.

There is also $736 million allocated for home care, $1.6 billion for designated supportive living facilities, $1.2 billion for long-term care and more than $500 million in capital funding over three years for continuing care facilities.

“We are protecting the lives of vulnerable Albertans by increasing support for services that improve their safety, independence and quality of life,” said Kenney.

“Alberta seniors built this province and we’re standing by them every step of the way through this pandemic and beyond.”   

Shandro called expanding capacity in continuing care “a top priority.”

“This funding will help upgrade existing spaces while also creating new ones,” he said.

“We will work with our community, non-profit and independent providers to accomplish this. Alberta seniors and persons with disabilities deserve safe, quality care in their communities, with their friends and families nearby.”

Salimah Walji-Shivji, chair of the Alberta Continuing Care Association, said the number of seniors in Alberta is expected to double in the next decade.

“Over 13,000 Albertans in long-term care and designated supportive living settings receive quality care everyday through the independent public, private, faith-based and not-for-profit owners and operators who comprise our association,” she said.

“We are committed to furthering our partnership with the government to strengthen the capacity to help our residents requiring continuing care.”

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