A Calgary man who suffers from MS is back in the city two months after his unexpected transfer to a long-term care facility 130 kilometres away prompted protests from his family.
Andy Shiplack, 52, had been waiting for eight months at the Rockyview General Hospital for a long-term care bed when he was given 10 hours’ notice from Alberta Health Services that he was being moved to a facility in Claresholm.
Shiplack was moved back north to a long-term care facility in Calgary this week.
While he was in Claresholm, Shiplack's two siblings who live in Calgary were only able to visit him three times.
A third sibling, Dan Shiplack, who lives in Regina, said getting his brother moved back to Calgary is proof that families need to be forceful as they lobby health officials on behalf of loved ones.
“I wish for the people in Alberta to definitely never give up, be an advocate for your loved one and just take this by the horns because we're not the only family out there that this is happening to,” he said.
Shiplack noted that the caregivers at the facility in Claresholm were very good to his brother during his time there.
“They just went over and above and beyond. They even brought him some personal items which was just … far exceeded our expectations. We really appreciated them,” he said.
Last June the province cancelled a policy — pending a review by the Health Quality Council — that required continuing care residents to accept a placement within 100 kilometres of their home.
However critics have charged that the policy seems to still get enacted in some cases.