11/18/2015 11:47 EST | Updated 11/18/2015 11:59 EST

Alberta Health Services Ordered To Create Clear Policy For Banning Visitors At Long-Term Care Homes

Premier of Alberta/Flickr

EDMONTON — Alberta Health Services has been ordered to create a clear, consistent policy when it comes to restricting or banning visitors at long-term care facilities in the province.

Health Minister Sarah Hoffman made the announcement Tuesday.

She says the order comes after learning about a number of concerns around the practice.

She says some family members feel there "might be retribution — including that their access to a family member is being limited — if they speak up about certain cases.''

David O'Brien with AHS says they currently have a number of different policies in place at their facilities because when AHS was formed it was made up of a number of regional health authorities, each of which had their own policy.

But he says bans are sometimes required when a family member or visitor is disruptive, aggressive or threatening.

He says they will review existing practices and look at establishing one clear, consistent and transparent policy.

(Global Edmonton)

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