There seems to be a common thread in the anger over The Good Samaritan Society decision to centralize pharmacy supports and services by going to a single provider in Pharmacare with its central offices in Edmonton, which will have an affect on residents at Linden View.
It is that, with the lack of communication with all the invested stakeholders, be it the company that currently has the current pharmacy contract in Taber Co-Op, staff at Linden View and the senior citizens at Linden View and their families.
Taber Co-Op was caught off guard in that the process it had originally adhered to with a request for proposal in gaining the contract was passed over to a monopoly in Pharmacare. Requests have been made for the Accreditation Canada process The Good Samaritan Society has claimed they went through last September, that apparently made them arrive at its Pharmacare decision, and no documentation has been provided to a concerned party.
The benefits of Pharmacare have been trumpeted by The Good Samaritan Society to site mangers across the province, that the Good Samaritan Society does business with, for specialized care services for the elderly, disabled and those in need or at risk. So if it is so great, why not a huge PR campaign applauding the decision with statistical proof to those affected instead of concerned people having to pull teeth to get feedback of a decision that seems to have had no due process?
It is simple — because business is business. Whatever deal was brokered between Pharmacare and The Good Samaritan Society behind closed doors, it is a benefit to the bottom line.
Be it perhaps a financial bonus or reducing overall overhead costs, The Good Samaritan Society is still a business.
But this is a business that is not dealing in widescreen televisions, toys or automobiles — it is people.
People, as shown at Linden View with very specific health needs as they live out their Golden Years, and there should be a dignity afforded to that in a generation that helped build southern Alberta into what it is today.
What exact benefits will be increased for Linden View residents that will be amplified over the current pharmacy contract that is to expire on Dec. 1? Will any costs the Good Samaritan Society may be saving or bonuses they are enjoying be passed down to the residents of Linden View either through reduced costs of services that are upcharged past base residency requirements, or increased quality of existing services?
Hopefully these are the hard questions people will be asking at the information sessions that are being held today at Linden View on The Good Samaritan Society decision to switch over pharmacy supports and services, eliminating the tendering process.
Even for families and citizens of Vauxhall who have no connection to Linden View whatsoever, we all age and you too may one day be a resident, so the issue should be a concern of yours as well.
Maybe in the end, the quality of care for seniors at Linden View will remain the same under Pharmacare, but that does not mean The Good Samaritan Society should not be held accountable for their decision.
Get involved, attend the information sessions and ask the questions, or write the powers that be your concerns either by letter or email, including your local MLA and town council — the care of your elderly loved ones is at stake.