Aids to Daily Living program could be outsourced to Alberta Blue Cross: AUPE

Children, youth, adults and seniors

The province’s largest public sector union has some concerns about an anticipated move by the government to outsource the Aids to Daily Living program.

Alberta Aids to Daily Living, AADL helps Albertans with a long-term disability, chronic illness or terminal illness to maintain their independence at home, in lodges or group homes by providing financial assistance to buy medical equipment and supplies.

Uphill Struggle. Bobbie Buckingham Flickr

Kevin Robertson, 770 CHQR Calgary February 23, 2017

The program helps pay for medical equipment like wheelchairs or back supports for people with chronic health problems.

Now workers in the program are being told the program will be taken over by Alberta Blue Cross in the near future.

Karen Weiers with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees said they have lots of questions about such a move, especially when jobs and benefits are at stake.

“We’ve not seen any cost analysis that would deem this beneficial. We’ve not seen a request for proposal sent out to ensure that if they are moving this way that Alberta Blue Cross is the best option,” said Weiers.

Weiers said if the NDP government is indeed planning to privatize Aids to Daily Living, it flies in the face of a pledge made during the election campaign.

“This was an initiative by the previous government. This government seems to be following suit in outsourcing public services when they actually ran on a platform to protect public services, so that’s a concern for us.”

Weiers points out it means people involved with the program would now have to deal with private insurance claims for the medical equipment they need.

The health minister’s office said the proposal to privatize is still under consideration, but no decision has been made yet.

Source 770 CHQR Calgary

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