Alberta has fewer long-term care beds than the provincial government says it does, the NDP says.

Earlier this month, the party cold-called 90 provincially run facilities and was told there are 4,764 beds in the province, 371 fewer than Alberta's reported 5,135, NDP Leader Brian Mason said in a statement on Tuesday.

Mason said Premier Edward Stelmach is misrepresenting long-term care bed numbers to hide the fact there is a severe shortage.

Currently, 1,700 Albertans are waiting for spots in long-term care facilities, his party said.

"Ed Stelmach already broke his [2008 election] promise to build 600 new long-term care beds," Mason said. "Now, his government is pretending beds exist where they don't.

"Considering the wait list for long-term care has nearly tripled in the last three years, this paints a chilling picture."

Four facilities that Alberta said have a total of 339 long-term care beds told NDP researchers only five exist, Mason said.

One of the four facilities, CapitalCare Norwood in Edmonton, has no long-term care beds even though the province claims it has 188 beds, he said.

Publicly funded beds make up about a third of the long-term care beds available in the province.

The rest of the beds are either privately owned or run by not-for-profit facilities.

With files from The Canadian Press.