A controversy is raging in Lethbridge. The provincial health authorities, Chinook Health, have announced a shift in its approach to long-term care for the elderly. It plans to close down long-term care beds at Extendicare next year, but to add more Designated Assisted Living (DAL) beds in the city. They may have roofs over their heads and arrangements for meals, but what about the 24-hour on-call medical help that many of them need? Citizens are outraged by the cavalier fashion in which the transition is being orchestrated. How will appropriate care be assured for their loved ones? Will they be able to afford it?

And at a time when we stand on the brink of an economic recession, does it make sense to be moving further towards private healthcare?

These issues have been raised with the Minister of Health and Wellness at the Legislative Assembly in Edmonton. Political parties have been mobilized. Signatures on petitions are being collected.

What is happening to health care in our province?

Speaker: David Eggen

Since June 2008, David Eggen has been the Executive Director of the Friends of Medicare, Alberta, a non-profit group that advocates public healthcare. He was educated at the University of Alberta where he received a Bachelor of Education degree in 1984. He then went to Zimbabwe where he taught school for three years. After returning to Edmonton, he taught at local high schools from 1990 to 2004.

Mr. Eggen was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, as a New Democrat, in the general election of 2004, He served one term and was the NDP'’s critic for Agriculture and Food, Environment, K-12 Education, Sustainable Resource Development, and Tourism and Culture.

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