EDMONTON — Alberta’s New Democrats say the public wants lower drug costs for seniors, more long-term care centres and better access to abortions.
The NDP, which has two elected members, held seven public meetings last fall to find out what Albertans think about their health care and released the results Wednesday.
Based on the feedback, the party says drug costs for seniors should be capped at $25 a month.
The party also wants more long-term care centres built and fewer assisted-living beds.
“What they’re proposing for long-term care … will in fact impoverish many seniors and potentially their families,” said NDP Leader Brian Mason. “They will simply be unable to afford the care that they require.”
The party says abortions are not offered at enough facilities, especially in rural Alberta, and that needs to change.
Mason says the party has been told there’s too much secrecy in health-care planning and proposals to reform the system should be made public.
Health Minister Gene Zwozdesky says he wants a broad discussion on health care and no one’s views will be stifled.
But Mason says people shouldn’t give the new minister too much credit after he replaced Ron Liepert in the health portfolio earlier this month.
“What I find obnoxious is people giving credit to Gene Zwozdesky as the white knight riding to the rescue to reverse what Ron Liepert had been trying to do,” said Mason.
“What’s happening in fact is the government is faced with a very serious political problem if it continues in the present direction.”